Friday, February 19, 2010


After two weeks of sharing an island with mostly donkeys, we were in for a little culture shock when we arrived in St. John's, Antigua. First off, there were actually restaurants we could go to for a meal, wow! And they even held regular hours. First night at anchorage, we decided to reacclimate to civilization and had a few drinks at Hemingways, where the bartender and owner were very generous and gave us the lowdown on the area: where to shop for food, where to go for nightlife, areas to avoid. Valerie, from Guayana, let us sample the house passionfruit juice and ginger beer, teaching us how to make our own aboard.

It was an off night. With no cruise ships in port, the shopping district was like a ghost town and we were Hemingway's only customers for hours. As friendly as the staff was, we decided to search for cheaper eats. A walk through the town was kind of sad. Without tourism, it was clear that St. John's had very little going for it. Being the only visitors in town, we were targets for all the husslers until Monday, when hundreds of tourists descended from the bows of the cruiseships onto the town like ants - the albino kind.

Stephen and I awoke Monday morning and peered out our portals. "Holy mother of God," where did these ships come from and how did they sneak in so quietly? It was amazing, we didn't even feel the slightest rocking, anchored on the other side of the pier, a few hundred feet away. The activity swarming around the ships and "Heritage Quay," the shopping district was our entertainment for the morning. We saw a rather ambitious couple in matching exercise gear jog down the ramp, eager to get their exercise in. "Where do they think they're going to run around here?" Surely their strides would be broken by the vendors and crowds. There were no parks, no open spaces.

Then we wondered what the tourists would do all day in St. John's. Once we left, we would discover that as in most other islands we've visited, the cruise ships usually pull in to the least scenic ports. It makes sense, as their size can only be accomodated by the industrial areas. This whole area was reminding me of the Baltimore Inner Harbor with palm trees. As you pull in, you are greeted by freighters and shopping pavillions. While these ports can be charming in their own way, the islands have so much more to offer. While many may leave without ever finding this out, some get to sample this beauty by being the first off the ship, in search of a ride or ferry to take them out of town. They will at least get to see one of Antigua's gorgeous beaches before they have to leave port again.

We decided not to stay long in St. John's. We'd take care of business: post office, internet and grocery shopping. The anchorage itself was noisy and stinky. It was lined with mangroves which emit a sulfuric stench, and nightclubs which pumped music until early morning. However, Gretchen seemed to like it here. A mangrove tree served as an apartment complex for cranes that came and went all day. When they were still, it looked like a giant rose bush whose blooms morphed into birds as they stretched their wings and took flight. Gretchen is a city cat at heart, so she was content to watch the traffic and talk to the birds as they passed overhead.

We were lucky to find the restaurant, "El Taco Loco," off the beaten path. They were usually out of a lot of stuff, but the food was so cheap and so good that we ate here for dinner and lunch. We especially liked Omar, the manager who remembered us from our last meal. "We have the chocolate cake today, do you still want a piece?" We were out of luck on Sunday when the only places open in the entire city were Subway and the open air markets selling fresh produce. There was not a coffee to be had anywhere that morning, and the market was intimidating since at that time we were the only two tourists in town.

People called out to us from every stand, coming up to us and literally placing fruit in our hands to touch. "It's good, see." Wow, talk about an interactive shopping experience. On our way into the market, young boys awaited as we approached in our dinghy, hoping to help us tie up for money. A very sketchy young guy asked us if he could help us carry our bags. When we said "no thanks," he continued to stalk us the whole back to our dinghy. We stopped several times, and I kept noticing him across the street or somewhere behind us. I thought he had finally given up when I looked up from inside our dinghy and there he was sitting on the curb staring us down. I have learned to become more aggressive in order to let people know that we won't be intimidated, so I stared right back. When we went grocery shopping, a sweet young girl checking backpacks and women's handbags at the front asked me if she could have mine. "I'm glad you think it's nice, but no."

The one landmark we did visit while in st. John's was the historic Cathedral that they finally closed as it is hundreds of years old and in desperate need of repairs. We read the apologetic letter posted on the front door explaining that after a church member was injured by a part of the ceiling that caved in, a survey determined the church could not remain open. There was no sign of construction, however, and no guarantee of reopening as they also explained the insurmountable task of raising millions of dollars from parishioners to fix it.

What we found most interesting about this church was the surrounding cemetery and the way its grounds were being used by locals. In my experience, I am used to cemeteries being treated as solemn places in which you engage in behaviors that demonstrate respect for the dead. All around us were people sitting or laying atop headstones, gabbing away on cel phones, eating their lunch or taking a mid-day snooze. Stephen and I used to find ourselves saying, "unbelievable" about so much in our journey. We've since changed this to "Believable."

We made it out of St. John's Harbor, to the outer islands where we spent a few days snorkeling reefs and lounging on the beach. We anchored behind "Redhead Island," a small rocky, uninhabitable island that became our private anchorage for two nights. In the morning, we dinghied over to Great Bird Island, about a 5 minute ride, so we could hike to the top before the tour groups arrived. On top were magnificent views of the outer islands and reef surrounding Great Bird. We found a huge blow hole opening up to the sea below and stumbled upon nesting birds that started to squawk and protect their babies as we got closer. "Stop scaring them!" I yelled to Stephen who kept inching closer for better pictures.

We returned later in the afternoon as the crowds thinned out and all that remained was a catamaran that stopped for about an hour. We decided that a ferry to the outer islands was the best option for tourists visiting by cruise. Here, they were far from vendors toting Antigua t-shirts, glossy conchs and shot glasses. A single vendor set up on the other side of the island each morning with coolers of food and beer. I was surprised by the number of people who stayed on the cat instead of getting off to check out the beaches. Then there was this man in the photo above who decided he was going to take it all in. As the cat approached the beach, he was the first one at the bow with snorkel mask already on, breathing hose in his mouth. They lowered the swim steps and he went down face first, gliding the entire 8 feet to shore where he ran out of water to float in. Once he hit solid beach, he stood up, snorkel mask still on and walked the path to other side where an entire bay of reefs awaited him. "Good for him!" He was making the most of his vacation.

The East Coast of Antigua is an amazing sail. We had ideal coniditions, close-hauled in 10 - 12 kts. of true wind against a gorgeous backdrop that changed from green countryside to steep, rocky bluffs and atolls with caves carved along the edges. The island offers just enough modern civilization to keep you connected while giving you plenty of places to escape to. The settled areas among the shores were quaint & picturesque, reminding you of a time long passed.

There were many sailboats, as Antigua is a popular destination for yachters. It features many races, including the big one, "Antigua Race Week," the last week in April. This has been a big regatta for the Caribbean for the last 30 years with a few hundred yachts participating from other countries. The anchorages here are well-protected and beautiful with clear water. There are so many anchorages and beaches in Antigua you really could spend a couple of weeks sailing between them.

Our last stop in Antigua was the historic English Harbor. This anchorage didn't have a great beach, but was very pretty and peaceful. We couldn't believe how many boats were anchored here while it remained so quiet. We arrived early enough in the afternoon to tuck up close to shore with enough room to swing from some very interesting boats: a zebra striped boat named "Rush," and "Sea Terror," which looked like a terror to sail on. An interesting voodoo mask hung inside its cockpit.

Lots of big yachts and catamarans tied up stern to quay at Nelson's Dockyard, named for 18th century British naval commander, Lord Nelson. After 4 weeks of accumulating laundry, we were able to get it done in a little laundry room inside the dockyard. Just me and its manager, Cheryl or "Baby" as Stephen preferred to call her by her nickname. I found this to be my best laundromat experience so far. Even though we opted to do our laundry ourselves rather than pay for Cheryl to do it, she insisted on helping me load and fold. "I'll get bored if I don't stay busy, " she explained. When we first spotted the laundry area, we saw two machines sitting on the grass in the middle of the courtyard. Since just about everything is "believable" to us now, we started to turn around thinking this outdoor set up was the laundry facility. To our amusement, these were two non-working machines, as we would have guessed at first glance in our former lives.
The dockyard included customs & immigration, (who didn't catch that Barbuda neglected to charge us entry fees), a pub with the first beer on tap we have come across since Bermuda (Heineken), and a grocery store that closed by 5 pm, while we were sipping those draught beers.
Aside from Nelson's Dockyard, the other attractions here are Fort Berkeley and Shirley Heights. We hiked the 10 minute trail from the Dockyard to the end of the fort, which overlooks the sea and the surrounding harbor. The trail and fort were filled with goats which were gorging with milk. We had a hard time deciphering whether some were actually holding milk or just had some really big kahunas to put any male to shame. Anyhoo, the fort still stands from the 1700s - the days of Lord Nelson when they stored 300 barrels of gunpowder inside what was then, a "bomb proof" warehouse. But seriously, the goats had some of the largest testicles, proportionately speaking of course, of any animal we have seen.

We attended the famous Sunday Night party at Shirley Heights. From the beach, we climbed a trail to the very top. You could hear the steel drums so clearly the whole way, deceiving us about the distance remaining. "We've got to be close," we kept saying. An opening through the trees revealing we were only half way to the top. We were so focused on mixing a drink for the trek up that we forgot to bring our headlamps for the hike back.

When we made it to the top, the trail opened up onto a field of people far less sweaty than us, holding rum punches. A skinny, tanned blonde woman with perfectly styled hair in a long flowy dress passed by us. "If she's here, there's got to be a road," said Stephen. Fortunately, there was a road and plenty of taxis, but we spent our last EC on rum punch. Hmmm....a ride back down or another rum punch? It was some really good punch. The kind with nutmeg.

The steel drum band was excellent. They sounded more like an orchestra. They played until 7:00 and then a reggae cover band went on til late. It was an awesome party with families with small children, 20-something singles, older women with hired escorts, cruisers and locals. It was cool to see people from outside the U.S. party to the Stones and Paul Simon.
Shirley Heights overlooked the entire southwest end of the island, spanning both English and Falmouth Harbors. When the sun went down, red lights from the masts of the megayachts docked over in Falmouth lit up like a city. What Stephen and I appreciated most, however, was the food line. This place knew how to streamline things. With the number of people there, their were no waits for food, no pushing your way through the crowd to order. You picked up a ticket numbered according to your choice of BBQ. You walked over the the BBQ line where a lady immediately piled green salad on with tongs and then 1 huge ice cream scooper of potato salad. They had the grill going all night so there was no waiting for your ribs or chicken either. This was by far the fastest service we have encountered in the Caribbean.

We feel blessed to have encountered another amazing island with exhilirating sailing that seems to keep getting better. Everytime I begin to think that we've been through a lot to get to this point, however, I am reminded of how lucky we've been. We ran into Hannah & Ky in English Harbor, the couple who were demasted in Bermuda. We knocked on their boat when we spotted it, and learned more about their journey and the perils they have been through.
This couple is sailing just until summer, when they have to be back to the states for Ky's gradschool program. They started in Houston, TX, and were grounded on a sandbar somewhere in GA when the tide went out. Floating upright again, they sailed on to the Abacos and headed for the Med. A couple hundred miles past Bermuda, they were demasted in some strong winds. The whole rig came down at night while Hannah was on watch and they spent the next day or so pulling it back on board and jury-rigging a sail configuration while pitching in big sea swells. With half the sail area, it took them two weeks to beat windward to Bermuda.

We found it amusing that they also had to beat in to Bermuda from the opposite direction. "That must be the Bermuda Triangle," said Stephen. Like him, Hannah's hubby regretted that this all happened on her first passage. "I'm just happy she still wants to sail," he said. I give this girl a lot of credit. I have symptoms of PTSD from some seriously big waves and the entire rig of her 30 foot boat came down in some serious weather while she was alone on watch. They were at sea for 27 days before making it to Bermuda where they were grounded until they could replace the mast. And here they were...they had made it to the Caribbean, determined to make the most of what time and money they had left. You never know what you would do if faced with the same circumstances, but if I lost my mast I don't knonw if I'd keep going. "Gee, this has been real...but you can drop me off here..." I joked with Stephen. "Yeah, real awful," he added.

Hannah and Ky are truly amazing and inspirational. Each time the wind begins to gust or the waves begin to steepen, I feel fear well up inside of me. I think I fear the feeling of being afraid more than the actual circumstances. I hate the thought of being paralyzed by fear and try to push myself to take the helm when the winds start to howl. There is so much to discover on a journey like this one, not just about people and the world at large, but about yourself. Free from many of life's distractions and easy escape routes, it's easier to hear your inner voice and check it from time to time, observe how it affects your experience. For me, living so close to nature has revealed the fragile balance between peace and chaos & the interconnectedness that exists within our private realities and our surroundings -the world as it truly is.

Monday, February 1, 2010

"Life's a Beach" in Barbuda

Approaching Barbuda was like looking 20 million years into Saba's future. A volcanic island reduced to no more than 125 ft. at its highest point, it's bordered by miles of shallow reefs and the aftermath of erosion - miles of fine and powdery white sand that feels like crushed velvet under your feet.

Barbuda is as unambitious as it is undeveloped. In 2010, its 2,000 or less inhabitants are starting to get caught up with the rest of the civilized world, conflicted by their desire for more jobs and opportunity despite fears of becoming mainstream.

The Codringtons, a family of English settlers, leased the island in 1685 to set up plantations in the highlands. As every other European settlement goes, they needed slaves for the plantations, about 800. The climate is so dry that they ended up raising mostly livestock instead.

Back then, Barbuda was part of English Antigua (pronounced An-tee-ga) and was annexed after Emancipation. Land has been held communally since, so technically it can't be sold to outside developers. Long after the days of Emancipation, Barbuda rejoined Antigua, which has led to much conflict between Barbudans and their elected officials, known to give Antigua a green light for hotel projects without consulting Barbudans first. Antigua started work on a hotel atop Spanish Point (above) against locals' protests to keep it a national park. When they didn't listen, Barbudans marched down to the peninsula and shoved their mobile offices right off the cliff. Antigua got the message and hasn't pushed for development since.

After much observation and some informal interviewing, the bottom line is this: Antigua wants Barbuda for its sand mining operation and waterfront real estate. Barbuda lacks the resources to be fully independent, and joined Antigua with the expectation that they would establish a secondary school, help them create jobs, etc. Every Barbudan says the same thing, "We want controlled development."

Until Antigua is able to create a 21st century Barbuda, however, it isn't going to help them with their schools, roads and hospitals. Until then, they give Barbudans 90,000 EC weekly (2.6 EC to 1 US$) in exchange for access to sand. Locals say that this all goes toward the salaries of their elected officials, but some gets distributed to Barbudans in the form of a weekly check. As we headed out of Codrington after clearing customs, we saw a crowd of people by the lagoon. I said to Stephen, "Oh, this must be the "Friday Fish Fry." There wasn't a fish fry, but a line that wrapped around a building where a man in uniform would emerge every few minutes to allow another group through the door. They'd exit stage left with single white envelope in hand.

Clearing customs was probably the most adventurous thing we've done since we've arrived. You can only get to Codrington via the lagoon, and a water taxi is $40 US one way. So we kayaked down the coast, to where the strip of beach is narrowest. On that particular day, the surf was up where we wanted to land. As we paddled in, everything was calm. We began to coast the waves into shore until we heard a thunderous sound in the distance. We looked left, right into the curl of a wave headed down the beach. "Here we go again," I thought as I heard the familiar "Hold on" from Stephen. Except, I probably would have been better off abandoning ship this time around. The wave crashed over us, flipping us upside down in our kayak. Thank god for the discovery of the waterproof bag in St. Martin that held our passports and other important documents. As Stephen checked to make sure this bag was still attached, I was trapped under the kayak, re-living trauma. Waves rushed over me, as I fought my way to the surface, trying to hold on to our paddles the whole time.

"Holy Shit Mon!" I exclaimed, an unsightly drenched and sandy mess. With a trek across the lagoon still ahead of us, we quickly assessed the damage. Everything had made it, except the sunglasses missing from our faces. "Oh well," two new pairs of shades still doesn't amount to the cost of a taxi ride. For $80, I'll risk another pummeling. We drug the kayak over the strip of beach and launched her in the lagoon.

As we pulled up to the dock, we were greeted by a self-appointed tour guide, insisting on
showing us the way to Customs and Immigration. But we had already done our research, and didn't need the special treatment. As he chatted us up, the Port Authority officer was getting away on a fishing boat. "We need to get to the Port Authority first," said Stephen. "Oh, there she goes," he informed us. My heart sank to my stomach as I realized I was probably just retraumatized for nothing.

We forged on, in pursuit of Customs and Immigration. Our guide wasn't quick to get the message, and was less than helpful as the Customs officer didn't accept his explanation that the Port Authority Officer cut out of work early "to go fishing with a boy." Out of earshot, we pondered the intentions of our unwanted guide. "Does he expect money?" I asked. "I don't know, but I don't need a chaperone," said Stephen.

We left the impression that we were giving up on clearing in and parted ways. "Okay, well you know where to find me on Monday," he said. With him out of the picture, Stephen persisted with customs and immigration who agreed to clear us in with a phone call to Port Authority, somewhere in the middle of the lagoon. It seemed we were received more positively without our friend around. Sadly, we saw him later, waiting in line for his check.

A walking tour through Codrington, revealed that there was no reason to come back. In general, the younger generation of Barbudans behave indifferently to tourists. A lot of young people hung out in the main village all afternoon, seemingly bored with nothing to do but blast music from their car stereos.

In a small village that doesn't get many tourists, we stood out. Although I'm sure thumbing through the guide in the middle of what I didn't recognize as the town square, didn't help. I was approached by "King Goldilocks," an older man running his own taxi-tour guide business. "Excuse me Miss, you seem lost," he said as he introduced himself and asked me to "turn to page 31." As he pointed to an ad he stated proudly, "See, that's me, King Goldilocks for all your transportation needs." I appreciated his friendly, yet straightforward marketing style.

We met more of the older generation along the coasts, not waiting for Antigua to do something, but making every effort to generate business through tourism. They own small restaurants, fish, operate water & land taxis and raise livestock. When Stephen and I were biking back to the boat one evening, we witnessed a grey-bearded man herding his cows on horseback. With the horse and a few small dogs, they chased the escaped cow home.

We met Uncle Roddy, who ran an outdoor bar & restaurant on the front porch of his home. Like every other restaurant we tried in Barbuda, he wasn't able to offer us a meal. I know, it sounds crazy, right? But you have to call ahead so that they can go into town or hook up with a fisherman to get you what you want: steak, lobster, chicken... Without much business, it doesn't make sense for them to stay open, and without a way to call them, we were always out of luck. We tried to spend our money in Barbuda, and it was hard! They didn't even collect our customs fees, since the Port Authority officer decided to leave early to go fishing. In two weeks, all they could get from us was $25, spent on groceries and BBQ chicken from the only food stand you could rely on - open Fridays after 4.

Uncle Roddy described the primitive Barbuda he grew up in, where less than 50 years ago, there wasn't any electricity. Today, Uncle Roddy runs his business off of solar and wind. Cel phones are abundant, but internet is still lagging, and mainly found at the guest houses in town or 1 of the 2 resorts. "We're still growing up," he said, as he asked us and a Canadian couple for suggestions on how to accomodate more visitors. This couple chose Barbuda for the same reason we did, "We wanted a place where there was nothing going on."

Since almost everyone lives in Codrington, there is plenty of empty land all along the shores and interior roads. If a Barbudan wants to build a house, they pick a plot and do it. Sadly, we saw many start-ups with fantastic views that seemed abandoned half-way through. Of the houses that did get completed, most sit deserted while former residents are overseas in search of other opportunities. Outside of Codrington, most of the island is a ghost town with boarded up resorts that have closed within the last six years. Tourism was never thriving, but a security guard who has worked at Cocoa Point Resort for 21 seasons, says "this is the worst it has ever been.

It's sort of hard to believe that with very little civilization and no place to deposit the trash that has been accumulating on our dinghy/trash barge, that we have spent two weeks here. You might look at the beach and think that it is much of the same, and that such emptiness might get old quick. Once you get ashore, though, you realize how different each mile of beach is from the other. It took us days to explore the West coast alone, discovering the pinkest sand we have ever seen, resulting from eroding red coral.

Abadoned conch shells line the shore, left behind by fishermen that extracted the conch for stew. The shell life here is many colors and varieties in pristine condition. Unbroken geomeric patterns and perfect spirals reminded me of the mathemataical "pi." There were piles of the tiniest shells you have ever seen...microscopic versions of conchs, cockles, mussels and snail-like shells.

Another stretch of beach was lined with miniature trees and drift wood, perfect for fire building. We had our own "burger night," bringing new meaning to "flamebroiled." Fuddruckers' got nothin' on Stephen's burgers and homeade rolls. One night, We had our own private bonfire on the beach, and thankfully managed not to set the coastline ablaze. Beers & burgers by the fire, about 100 yards from the boat was awesome, despite the perpetual battle with the "noseums" (sand fleas). They covered every exposed piece of my flesh with scars to remind me of my perfect evening for the following week.

We walked, biked and hiked for miles, exploring desloate beaches and dirt roads that we almost always had all to ourselves. Imagine being able to bike down the middle of a two lane road for miles, where the only other pedestrians are horses, donkeys and goats. We would hike the arid highlands, where small trees had twisted trunks that stretched sideways, in the direction of the prevailing winds. Amidst patches of brush, volcanic rock and sand, you would come upon whole skeletons of wild animals who came here to die. It felt like walking through a Salvador Dali painting.

In the Northern Highlands, we explored caves around Two Foot Bay - named for a slave who escaped by wearing his shoes backwards, sending his trackers in the wrong direction. The guide listed several caves, but Barbuda doesn't mark them so you will be more inclined to hire a tour guide. I don't blame them, but since we're on a budget and like to explore things on our own time, we scoured the area until we found them.

The prettiest was "Gunshop," a cave that has an opening, where you can climb through onto the cliff overlooking Two Foot Bay. As we searched for it, we encountered a couple looking for the same. The male counterpart must have been trying to impress his lady, since he claimed he had found it before and wasn't interested in joining efforts. So who do you think found it first? From the cliff, we could see them still wandering below. I was going to call out to them, but Stephen pulled me back before they could see us. "Shhh, don't help them, let 'em find it on their own."

On the bike, we scanned several dirt roads until we found one substantial enough to lead to the old Codrington Estate. There were no street signs, only obscure markers like empty plastic bottles hung from tree branches. From shore, we discovered an "unoffical" road leading into town that Stephen dubbed "Donkey Shit Trail." Mimicking the voice of a GPS, he gave directions, "Follow the red marker. Bear right at the piles of shit ahead. Turn left in .3 miles at the blue string hanging from the tree."

From the estate, we hiked a trail to "Darby Sinkhole," 350 ft. in diameter and about 100 feet deep. At the bottom lives the only rainforest on the whole island. There is one tree down there, unlike any others we saw in Barbuda with a trunk and roots so big it looks like a freak of nature sitting amidst all the skinny palmetto palms.

There was a place where we could scramble down to the bottom, discovering a dark little underworld with cave like features. Palmetto palms reach to the top of the crater and their leaves intertwine, allowing very little light to shine into the hole. As we scanned the perimeter, we saw hundreds of hermit crabs crawling all around us. These aren't like the ones they give away at the carnivals. While they are more afraid of us, they have one huge claw that reaches around the front. Stephen would pick them up and then freak out when he saw the claw. We'd both jump and I'd shriek as he dropped the poor little things to the ground.

As for the rest of our time here, we moved anchorages twice to check out the Southern coast's palm-tree beaches. Palms are pretty sparse on the island, and these palms were grown specifically for the resorts. Cruisers aren't welcomed on the property belonging to the exclusive "Cocoa Point Resort," so we set up shop at the deserted "K-Club." You can tell we're American by the number of things we bring to shore: beach chairs, beach blanket, stereo/ipod, and cooler. Just like the west coast, We had the resort all to ourselves. For the first time, I felt courageous enough to hang out topless. Most anchorages didn't fill up and we were far enough away from other boats to go skinny dipping on a regular basis.

Stephen did a lot of snorkeling and saw a huge stingray one morning. he claims it's wing span was the width of our cockpit. He saw the one above hanging out under the keel of our boat. For some reason, fish like to hang out under our hull. We had a regular baracuda in st. Bart's.

With little height to the land, there isn't much to block the wind. So when it blows, the water becomes choppy and cloudy and the snorkeling isn't the best. Still, we spotted lots of coral and schools of little fish. At anchor, we saw sea turtles bobbing their heads at the surface for air.

When it rained, Stephen practiced his culinary and bread making skills. He's venturing outside the box with his english muffins,"coconut raisin bread," and homemade meatballs. A shortage of options ashore has also fostered inventive cooking with food stores. We're still finding new uses for tuna and nutella.

With nothing to block our view, we saw this full rainbow arch across the island. It appeared just as we were going ashore for our bonfire, and was too big for me to fit in the whole frame. We took our time in Barbuda, unsure of when we will experience this kind of beauty or have another beach to ourselves for days on end. We've kept pretty busy by reading, journaling, making videos, listening to music, listening to news and comedy on Satellite radio, finishing crossword puzzles and doing nothing at all but watching the scenery unfold.
Next stop is Antigua, 30 miles due south. First port is St. John's, where it's back to civilization and more provisioning in their marketplace. Once we're stocked again, we'll head east to Antigua's quieter islands before making our way around the southern tip. We plan on being in Guadaloupe for "Carnival" 2/15 - 16.