After our christmas day at the dock yard, we went to Jolly Harbour - this was a favourite place of ours five years ago because it was had very pretty marina with lots of facilities , internet access, a fabulous grocery store, cafes, nice reasonanably priced gift shops, bars lots of nice places to sit and just enjoy the beautiful flowers in a scenic park-like area. Now five years later, the signs of recession and difficult economic times are evident in the number of shops, deserted casino and sports bar, formerly busy restaurants, now closed, and those businesses that have survived appear to be quiet, and the facades and store fronts appear tired - looking, furniture is fading and rusted, the grounds are somewhat unkempt compared to what I remember. business owners say that indeed the recession has reached Antigua, and say its tough to carry on.
Desite the somewhat gloomy atmosphere of the marina, we stocked up on groceries and ice and took a mooring close by the lovely beach we used to go to. the water was beautiful and the beach appeared to be busy and a bit crowded - the resorts seemed to be doing OK. unfortunately we only stayed a couple of nights because the mosquitos were horrendous - the kids were covered in hundreds of itchy bites from sleeping on deck. We knew we could not stay long, but we did take part in a music trivea quiz at the local Dogwatch tavern. there were about 8 teams, the quiz consisted of 40 music clips, we had to guess either the artist of the title. At the end of it, we totalled our score 34 /40 not too bad - enough to put us on second place. For our efforts we won a plastic water bottle!
The following morning we went to the dock, filled up with water then decided to sail to Deep Bay, the rolly sea and the mosquitos aided our decision. It was a very comfortable three hour sail, deep Bay is a beautiful quiet anchorage close to a sandy beach and Fort Barrington, a short hike up to an old fortress, affording magnificant 360 views. We loved being able to jump off the boat into the cool clear water, there were only three other boats at this anchorage - during the day its busier as a few tour boats come in with passengers from the cruise ships for a couple of hours, they drop them at the beach then pick them up two hours later and return them to the ship. The beach has many vendors selling the usual teeshirts, wraps, jewelley and paintings so typical of the carribean, but when as then the tourists leave, the vendors leave too and then the beach is deserted.
Jamie was able to do a few hours of surfing one morning as the waves wind and surf were favourable. The rest of us packed a picnic and went ashore to hike up Fort Barrington to eat, and take pictures. Later, we spent a few lazy hours enjoying sun sand and the water. The sea was very rolly, and it was somewhat uncomfortable to be on board as the board rolled from side to side, seasickness would have been eminant if we had stayed there, so once again, reluctantly, we hoisted anchor and sailed for four hours back to Falmouth - the beauty of this is that we have no real set plans and can come and go at whim. the kids wanted to be in falmouth for New years eve anyway, and closer for internet access.
So today, its New years eve, the end of 2010.
Posted by Amoeba Sailing Tours on Tue, December 28, 2010 at 12:15 PM