Sunday, February 28, 2016

Anitgua - What a Gem!

* Note- this post is from a few weeks ago.
We departed from Nevis and headed to Antigua for a 4 hour cruise. Rough 5'-7' seas and 30knot winds made for quite a crazy ride! Here we are pulling into the marina.
Once we tied up at the dock, we set out on foot to explore the local beach. (Anything to get some solid ground under our feet. I'm speaking for us girls of course) 
We strolled down the street from the marina and found this great beach.
It was the perfect spot and we rented some lounge chairs with umbrellas to soak in the scene with. A local purveyor named James had the concession on anything and everything you could need. He was a total character!
He sold anything he could think of...from babysitting to real estate.
Within 2 minutes, the boys had summoned James and we had
 chairs and umbrellas up and ready for action.
The sand was like velvet...felt great beneath our feet.
Oh, don't mind if I do.
A swim was definitely in order as it was a scorcher under the direct sun. Here's Brad and Buddy coming out of the ocean. Buddy had to hold his finger in the air so he didn't get any water in his owie...Brad joined in solidarity. 
Nancy was passed out on Bonine after our rough seas. 
Then we spotted this Rasta piece of driftwood...Irie mon.
Being Superbowl Sunday, we hung out at the local Crows Nest in the marina so the boys could take in the game. 
Nancy and I crashed early as we still had Bonine in our systems and couldn't stay awake any longer. Wah wah.

The next morning our rental car was delivered to the marina and we headed out to explore!
Nelsons dockyard was first up and these two were my models. 

This was the local sail repair shop. Busy as can be!
We checked out the local sights...
and then hit up their infamous History Museum.
Buddy was ready for his close-up!
Always on point.
This was an old (very attractive..HA!) maidenhead from a ship. 
Nancy was ready to toast the next pirate that walked by. 
They had a great photo of a young Prince Charles. That whippersnapper!
Nancy was deep in thought.
Brad pondered the fascinating history here.
And I was psyched to be documenting it all...
This was an old Inn along the waterfront.
We walked along the docks and came across one of the rowboats 
used in the Atlantic Challenge that had just arrived. Wait until you hear this...
So these rowing contestants enter a race to row 3,000 nautical miles across the Atlantic from the Canary Islands to Antigua.
Craziness! I can't even imagine all the endurance and perseverance that it took to row almost 2 months straight.

Here are the rules:
1. Boats can be raced as a solo, pairs or four man team in two different classes: Pure Class and Concept Class, with an overall winner in each of these two classes.
2. No outside assistance is permitted throughout the race. Each team shall carry all necessary food, cooking gas, medical kit, and safety equipment for the entire crossing.
3. Each competitor shall hold a valid RYA Yacht-master Ocean Theory, First Aid at Sea, Sea Survival and a VHF Radio Licence.
4. Each competitor shall have undertaken a qualifying row and qualifying courses before race start.
5. The boat shall only be propelled by the rowing effort of the crew and the natural action of the wind, waves and currents acting on the boat.

6. Any emergencies, urgent incidents or problem solving must be dealt with in accordance with the Race Crisis Operations Document.
7. All packaging and refuse shall be retained on board until disposal can be arranged at an appropriate location ashore. (Eeeow!)
8. All drinking water shall by produced using a watermaker from sea water.
Here's what it costs to Euros;


  • Solo:
  • Pair:
  • Trio:
  • Fours:
  • Fives:


  • Solo:
  • Pair:
  • Trio:
  • Fours:
  • Fives:
These guys were the 4-man team winners and how psyched they must have been!
They encountered tropical storms, hallucinations and pressure sores on their 3,000-mile journey. But in the end it was worth it, as four school friends broke the record for the world's toughest rowing race.
They lit flares after winning the 26-team Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, crossing from the Canary Islands to Antigua in 37 days and nine hours.

This Brit who is an endurance athlete rowed all by himself. 
It was his first time & he was a novice rower. His previous endurance test was a marathon through the Sahara desert. Count me out. haha!!
I guess he woke up one morning and thought hey, why not challenge myself and row for months on end?
No wonder a whiskey company is sponsoring this..
This is what you'd need while just watching these nuts get their game on.

 A group of Yorkshire mums...So hardcore!!

Meanwhile, back at the dock...Buddy & Nancy found their new boat!
Lunch was at Admirals Inn on the water.
Fancypants was about to dive in with this kind of scenery. So beautiful!

Afterward we toured Shirley Point which is a must see destination here.
It felt like we drove forever to get there, but the view was worth it.
We spotted this cute pink church in town.
Here was an entire road full of palm trees that were all dead. There was a terrible plague on St Kitts and Nevis that had claimed their lives sadly. Hard to imagine such a tropical island without Palm trees. What a shame!!
We then drove out to Devils bridge to see what all the fuss was about. 
The boys found one lone palm tree that wasn't bitten by the plague. 
My token art shot. 
Devils bridge didn't disappoint. It was a stunner. That's our fam van in the distance. 
This place was breathtaking.
Some of the rocks were well worn down from centuries of being pounded by the sea. 
It was quite pourous and looked like a moonscape. 
Somehow we found time for shenanigans. 
This little roadside stand didn't quite make it, but sure looked idyllic.
We then headed over to a local beach for some swimming. 
Brad & I got our quota in for the day. 
Can't ever get enough of these swims in the sea!
Afterwards, Nancy and I infiltrated an "all inclusive" private resort, scurried past the security guard and acted like we lived there. Found a bar and scored ourselves some cocktails. Brad and Buddy said we couldn't make it happen. Ha!! We showed them.
         Then Nancy fell sound asleep on the beach. 
We thought it would be funny to pack up all of our things, put them in the car, and then drive past Nancy yelling at her as she lay stunned and waking up. 
As luck would have it, there was a road right behind her. Aren't we funny?

Here she is stunned as can be. Wha? 
We couldn't have cracked up more and she loved our little prankster move! 
Such a good sport.

Our rental car was a fun one as it was all in Chinese. Made a few things challenging (like where the gas tank was) but we persevered and got it all figured out. 
I got a sneaky art shot of Buddy when he wasn't looking. 
We drove past a soccer field with a game in progress and it was littered with cattle. 
What a sight!
We finally arrived to another beach that looked like the perfect place to end the day.

They were famous for Dennis' restaurant which had a gorgeous view. 
We thought we'd have dinner there, but there was nothing too tasty on the menu.
But first...
Buddy and Nancy were psyched for sunset...
So were we for that matter!
And our Captain Bish! (best chef around!!)
So we rushed down the bay in our trusty rental van to Sheer Rocks 
at Cocobay Resort. 
I'd just read about this place and had a feeling it was going to be special.
As we arrived, there was a cloud of fumes that kept getting larger and larger, 
then this employee walked by covering his face.
This is what their cloud o' fumes looked like...
We did our best to not breathe anything in.
The resort was being sprayed for the Zika mosquito. Blech!
And this is an aerial shot of the Cocobay Resort. Sheer rocks is on the bottom right along the cliff. While the resort is private and for hotel guests only (the best kind!), Sheer Rocks is open to the public for those in the know.
 What a great spot on the water!! Healthy organic menu options right on the cliffs where all we could hear were tree frogs and the crashing waves below. Just heaven! 

Sunset over the (Zika free) pool wasn't too shabby...
Then it was time for a piña colada before dinner. Nothing like dessert before dinner. 
I sure sound like a boozer, but for those of you who know what a total lightweight I am...
 You're giggling I'm sure.
Bish held down the fort at the bar and supervised the piña extraction process.
I also learned that Rum and Coconut Water is the perfect refresher for when you need to restore your energy after a long day of tiring tropical activities.
The recipe for this uniquely Caribbean brew is quite simple:
1.5oz English Harbour Rum
2 Oz Fresh Coconut Water
A Dash Of Freshly Squeezed Lime
Ice Cubes
Mix everything in a glass, stir and enjoy! 


ENGLISH HARBOUR RUM: Considered by many experts to be one of the finest blends of both Dark and Light Rum distilled in the Caribbean today, this rum is named after the famous Antiguan naval port of English Harbour – a picturesque theatre of war between Britain and France as they battled for world power in the 18th Century. Who knew?!!

Best sipped while immersed in a pool of course!
What a great end to a fabulous day.

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