Monday, March 10, 2008

Safe Yachting Haven

My captain is delighted to be back in the safe yachting haven of Antigua (pronounced an-TEE-gah).

For the first time in months there is no need to lift (winch by hand) the heavy dinghy onto the mother ship’s foredeck each night, nor must we use a heavy gage chain to lock the dinghy to the dock when we go ashore. Plus there is less worry when we go ashore, especially at night that our floating home might be missing some of its contents when we return.

To date we have been fortunate and not suffered theft but others’ misfortunes have taught us to take precautions. Dinghies and outboard motors, especially Yamaha outboards, are the most popular items stolen. While these are an expensive loss, the worst part is the inconvenience of being without “a car” as replacements are not always available. Our concerns have been beyond theft. Based on word of mouth – so a dash of rumor and a splash of gossip – violent crimes on yachts are on the increase in some areas, or at a minimum they are being reported more. We read about a string of violent incidences that occurred earlier this year in a beautiful bay we had just anchored in for a night. But we’re in Antigua now so we can relax, at least more than we’ve been able to since arriving to the Caribbean.

As I mentioned, my captain couldn’t be happier about our new neighborhood. Safety and more floating money - in the form of yachts - than one can count. I on the other hand already miss the islands I have left behind. Here there is an absence of smiling islanders willing to share a slice of their island culture with me. Instead I mostly see people without smiles charging me high prices because I’m on a boat and everywhere I can go on foot I am surrounded by people like myself. My mission is to explore Antigua beyond the yachtie comfort zones of Falmouth and English Harbours…

Ok, I also feel the need to mention that these incredible yachts make me feel like an under achiever.

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