Bonus



We were not looking to purchase a boat outside of the US… until we were.  There were more remote places that we could have ended up in, but Antigua turned out to be a gem of a place to start a new adventure on a new boat.  




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Our AirBnB cottage was tucked away in a small village where you pick up people hitching in your direction on the roads amongst the cows, donkeys and sheep.  




Dinners each night came with the local brew Wadadli (brewed in St Vincent ~ remember Hairoun?), and we sampled all of the local specialties including stew fish, suckling pig, goat curry, coconut dumpling and ducana (sweet potato dumpling).














The day after our survey was complete and insurance approved, we had an immediate weather window for an overnight sail to St Thomas, USVI before the heavier Christmas winds set in.  The winds were favorable, but dead behind us.  


For our first sail on the Dolphin 46o, every sail combination was tried ~ jib, main, screecher ~ on both sides of the boat as the wind toyed with us on the stern.  Well, if only we had that camberspar… (read: irony)









We passed by St Kitts, St Eustatius and Saba at sunset to fantastic views and even detected a cool lenticular cloud on the high peaks of these volcanic islands.   The night was lit by a bright moon and even brighter cruise ships, all of us converging on the Virgin Islands the next morning.











The REAL bonus of our purchase down-island was that we could pop-in on the Kookaburra’s for the holiday!!  Keith and Jaime really outdid themselves in rolling out the hospitality for us this trip.  It was soooo special to see them again on the water and to get a glimpse into their home base of several years.  








Knowing what cruisers really need, especially on a new (to us) boat, not only did they have a mooring for us, but they gave us access to a car and lots of pointers along the way.  We got in several Price Smart (e.g., Costco), Kmart and Home Depot visits to provision and get a few necessities.  Not just gin & tonic… but propane tank, halyard, bridle lines, etc… even a pressure cooker, deck chairs & a TV! 










But mostly, we spent our time enjoying fun excursions, meals and beach socials with them as much as possible!  The pre-Christmas boat parade and ensuing festivities was a highlight ~ the whole island seems to turn out for this event.  




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Circumnavigating the island, we took in all of the best scenic overlooks and restaurants.


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The Christmas winds did kick-in right on schedule and we has some pretty boisterous conditions (gusts to 38 kts) in the bay for a while.












Our mooring field boasted a new vista every day with immense cruise ships coming into port.  A whole new size of boats have been introduced in the past decade, holding thousands of people!  Cell phone service goes to hell when these boats arrive. 







Curious sounds emanate in our hulls as their massive props turn underwater right next to us.  Occasionally we can take in the nighttime entertainment music and light show from our cockpit.  This traffic is a lifeline for the local economy, which seems to be recovering steadily.







We rang in the New Year on Reach at 9 PM with the Kook’s, the Smitty’s (Jesse & Stacey), Joss & Jess.  A few smart folks went to bed and a few others stayed up for midnight and beyond‽  The champagne, beer and wine bottles told the story the next day.  Bring it on 2019!










© M&M 2016