6th January, 2019
Another early start with an 0630 pilot at the entrance to the narrow buoyed channel. Once on board we stay centre channel as it’s only about 80m wide with about 2m under the keel – you definitely need a good helms man.
Fortunately the wind was light and we were the first of two ships to arrive. We were alongside at 0730 and my family were “under orders” to be ready on arrival to clear Immigration as they were flying back to the UK. They had been “immigrated” by 0745 and we all then headed off for our last breakfast together. At 1115 the taxi arrived, and I said my farewells as they headed for the airport. It was wonderful having them on board for the last 18 days and spending time with them – I know they really enjoyed it and they all had the pleasure of meeting lots of new guests.
We were docked in St Johns on the NW corner of Antigua, which is the Island’s capital and apart from tourism, it is the centre for the export of sugar, rum and Sea Island Cotton. Christopher Columbus arrived here in 1493 and named it Santa Maria de la Antigua, after a church in Seville, Spain. It was not until 1632 that the Island was successfully colonised by the British. In 1981 the Island gained its Independence along with Barbuda and Redonda.
We had a varied shore excursions programme with everything from Mangrove Kayaking to Helicopter Flights, a Catamaran Sail and lunch, and several Island Tours – something for everyone. And for those that did not want to go too far we were docked right downtown and I mean downtown 9as shown by the photo).
With everyone on board at 1630 we sailed shortly after and having completed a pirouette in the harbour we retraced our tracks out through the narrow buoyed channel. Our next port is St Lucia.
Captain Julian Burgess
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