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2nd February, 2018


After a most enjoyable time at sea it was time to set foot on dry land and our first Caribbean Island of Antigua. With the pilot on board Staff Captain Tom took the ship into port. It is a very narrow channel down into the harbour that is approx 130m wide with shallows on either side. It is well marked with buoys and in essence you need to be right in the middle. Once we reached the main harbour there were already 3 ships alongside so we manoeuvre passed them and were safely alongside.

St Johns is on the NW coast of Antigua and is the centre for the export of sugar, rum and Sea Island cotton. Antigua has a beach for every day of the year and a number of the guests and crew headed that way. There were 4 excellent tours on offer including “Mangrove Kayaking”, the “Antigua Island Tour” , “Stingray Encounter”, and “Catamaran Sail and Snorkel (with Lunch)”.

I decided to extend the call until 2130 which allowed us to have a magnificent BBQ on the Verandah deck with a selection of Chef Rustie Lee’s home recipes. In addition we arranged for a superb local steel band to play to our guests whilst they were dining under the stars. There was also the National Dance Theatre Company of Antigua and Barbuda, and the Antigua and Barbuda National Youth Choir. It was the most fantastic evening, and the guests of the ship opposite watched on with envy. Some of them even had the “cheek” to dance to our music. The photos don’t really do the whole event justice - you just had to be there. Many of the guests were dancing with the band and singers, and even a few conga’s weaved their way through the dining tables.

With the local entertainment off the ship at 2130 we lifted our gangway and by 2200 we were on our way. After a swift pirouette in the harbour we re-traced our tracks out through the buoyed channel and headed towards Guadeloupe.

Captain Julian Burgess

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