TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS

We had never considered sailing to Antigua. It seemed like a place out of our reach, meaning out of our budget. Our 36 foot Center Cockpit is a perfect boat, however, it is not the same as a 100 foot yacht with a professional crew and windlass and electronic everything. Antigua, as we understood it, was a place for mega yachts and the uber wealthy. We did not think we would be going to that island anytime soon. 

When Matt read the weather report and decided that the best place for protection was to sail to Antigua he began additional research to find out the best place to anchor. We learned that only in some harbors are you charged outrageous fees and in one bay you can anchor for free and there is access to a very nice marine. Sounds perfect. We got up early and set out, the sea was completely flat with no wind. The calm before the storm? 

Along the way we NAILED two beautiful Mahi back to back. We had them both on the line at the same time. Johannes was reeling them in and Matt gaffing them while I take photos and bring the vodka. The water is some of the most beautiful water I have seen so far on this trip. Crystal clear water that in 100 feet deep you could still see the bottom and the most beautiful blue, the ocean looked like a lake it was so calm. 

Matt decides to start filleting the fish and I go downstairs to clean up and for some unknown reason I decide I want to take a look at the engine. I open the door and see a puddle of water. Is that normal? I have not seen so much water in the engine room ever. I go upstairs and ask Matt to take a look. He comes down and is like Whoa Shit, that is not suppose to happen!  We get a bucket and a cup and I start the bailing process. Matt is doing some investigation and Johannes is driving the boat and trying to figure out how to complete the filleting of our precious fish. 

We decide we need a new water pump. After we anchor and get settled the boys set to work to take the pump off and start cleaning it. We go into town to do a little research about where we need to bring the pump to get new bearings. 

Bailing out the water in the engine room

Cleaning the water pump

Coconut water and grocery list
The next day we hop a bus to head toward Falmouth Harbor, the side of the island where you will see some serious boat porn, huge mega yachts. Also, just down the road is the famous Nelson’s Dockyard located inside a national park and where the most fees for entry are levied. We get off the bus at the entrance to the Yanmar dealer. He takes a look at the part and thinks we need a new seal. Explains that he can’t do it right this minute but to come back tomorrow he should have it done. Matt tells him not to take the pump apart if he does not have the parts, we still need to use the pump to sail over to St. Marten.  After we leave we go walk down to check out all the yachts and relax during happy hour before catching the bus back to our area of town at Jolly Harbour. 

This boat raced across the Atlantic in 9 days
The next day we go into town to see what the story is with our water pump. We grab our laundry in hopes of finding a place to wash the clothes. We get off the bus in St. John and ask the driver where the laundry is, he gives us an idea of where to head and we stop and ask a few more people along the way, before we end up in front of a lady’s house who washes your clothes in her garage for about $11.00 a load. We pay for two washes and we will hang dry on the boat. That is actually a fair price for laundry now-a-days. Then we split up, Johannes goes off to explore the island and Matt and I head over to Falmouth Harbour to see about the water pump. 

We are at a cafe looking at the boat porn around us, drinking coffee for me and beer for Matt, when he gets a call from the Yanmar dealer. They took the pump apart and did not have the parts. We start walking over there to pick it up and Matt is very upset about the situation. Why did they take it apart? Now we are not sure how well it is going to work. This is where the true sailing skills come into play, no engine to get in and out of the harbor, need to wait for the perfect conditions. We get there and the mechanic comes out apologizing immediately, which helped take the edge off, he tells us to go to town and stop at Fitzgeralds, they will have the parts and be able to replace it. 

We head off and get on the bus and stop at Fitzgeralds. Wouldn’t you know it! They had the parts and were able to do it in 10 minutes AND it only cost $60.00 vs. what we were quoted from the Yanmar dealer of $200. Matt is so excited he decides he is going to bring in his spare to get repaired as well. The next day Matt headed to get his spare water pump fixed and Johannes and I went to see some sites on another side of the island. 

Johannes and I took two buses then walked 2 miles to get to this place called Devils Bridge. Then we hitchhiked a ride back with a nice Canadian couple who took us around and showed us some of the island in their air conditioned car. Matt spent the whole day at the shop and ended up buying all the guys a beer. Now we are ready to sail to Montserrat to see Plymouth, a once thriving town now covered in volcanic ash and abandoned. 

A clear view of Montserrat from our anchorage in Antigua

The cruise ships are larger than the city itself

Devils Bridge

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