Montserrat

After 3 weeks in Antigua we were back to just the two of us and ready to move on. First stop was Montserrat. Well known for the volcano, Soufriere Hills, that decided to wake up in 1995 and has been active ever since.

Plymouth, the capital city and port was destroyed so the new port is now at Little Bay:

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After clearing in we hired a taxi and had a tour. The roads in the northern part are generally good but once you get closer to the volcano they are essentially built on top of the ash and volcanic debris. The island is now a big provider of sand and aggregates for construction, all courtesy of the volcano.

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The edge of the exclusion zone looking toward Plymouth, immediately below the front two condos was a cricket pitch. If you look at the top left corner of the left hand building you can see the score board. There won’t be any sixes scored here.

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The next day we set sail and cruised down the coast, Sir George Martin, who died recently, had a recording studio on the island (AIR Montserrat) until it was destroyed in Hurricane Hugo in 1989. After the volcano he organised a concert to raise money for the island and with the funds this cultural centre was built.

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As close as we got, there is a 2 km exclusion zone off the coast.

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Like being back in Rotorua, sulphur.  A more distant view:

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Deep Bay

Once we were well stored with the essentials for anchoring plus some food we sailed up to Deep Bay.  Well sheltered, excellent holding, nice beach, walks and a wreck in the middle of the bay to dive / snorkel on. The wreck was a barque carrying pitch from Brasil that had smoke coming from the hatch, not allowed to enter St. John they put into Deep Bay and opened the hatch to see what was going on. Pitch, heat and oxygen made short work of her and she lies in the bay with the stub of the mast above water, this happened in 1905.

Kapowai from the beach:

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At times there were quite a few boats and others we were on our own. Tourist boats came most days for an hour or so.

The fort on the hill that used to guard the channel to St. John:

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The view down the channel toward the harbour, 4 cruise liners in:

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Looking down at the beach, note the big hotel with loads of rooms. There was a bar at the end of the beach where we had a beer after a swim. We were well known and met all the guests of the hotel at one time or another – all 7 of them.

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Our hotel was much better,

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Jolly Harbour

We tied up on the 7th March and had a day of relaxing. It was Lois’ birthday on the 9th and I had arranged for Kate, Jordan & Matthew to fly over on the 8th as a surprise. It was a great reunion.

Once they were on board we moved up to Jolly Harbour, one of the reasons being it has a great supermarket only two minutes from the marina.

The beach was great:

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Nelson’s Dockyard

A short walk from the marina is Nelson’s Dockyard which is also a marina. Nelson spent 3 years here in the 1780’s as the senior Naval Officer. It was allowed to fall into dis-repair but was renovated and turned into a marina and tourist attraction. The only Georgian dockyard left.

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As described above

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Typical building

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After that the photographer lost interest and went shopping.

We later came back and had a nice lunch at the old dock where the sails were removed.

Neighbours

Antigua is a base for charter yachts and there is some impressive boats coming and going. Here are two, the older style one is owned by a big sucker and the military style one is owned by a glazier, one who thinks that having 10 is better than 8.

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Antigua

We arrived after dark, entered English Harbour but it was packed so went round to Falmouth Harbour and found a bay with only two boats anchored so put the hook down and turned in.

The next morning we had a new neighbour:

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The view toward the heads:

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After a leisurely breakfast rang the marina and they had a berth for us, by lunchtime we were tied up alongside at the Antigua Yacht Club Marina.

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