|The dinghy dock at the Antigua Yacht Club|
You'll forgive us if we sound a little disoriented. We sailed away from Antigua five days ago. Falmouth Harbour, where we finally got to sleep at anchor again (the last time was at Castellamarre in Sicily - a lifetime ago, as Claudia will agree), is two countries and three islands groups back. Who pushed the fast forward button?
|Elena at English Harbour|
|A common sight in Falmouth Harbour (and below)|
|Pelicans are smaller here|
|Nelson's Dockyard bakery - still cookin'|
To some extent, the geography of the Caribbean is setting our pace. We are heading south, with a loose goal of being in Grenada by the end of February. We have no idea of what we're looking for here. We're avidly reading between the lines of the three different Caribbean cruising guides we're carrying on board (plus the Lonely Planet). Mostly, we're trying to give ourselves some time to think. Our hearts are pulling us towards the Panama Canal and the Pacific ocean, but it's possible we are missing something.
|Pigeon Beach, Antigua, with Montserrat on the horizon|
|Deshaies, Guadeloupe (and below)|
|Menu board at L'Amer|
|Old Salt, English Harbour|
|Guadeloupe looks THIS close from Les Saintes|
|Main street, Le Bourg (Les Saintes)|
Even with those three cruising guides on board, we missed the crucial information that there's a strong west-setting current in this channel. Actually, I don't think this information was spelled out, and indeed it may have been somewhat fudged. Or been plain misleading. But it's poor form to blame the messenger. In many instances there's no substitute for local knowledge, and if there's one thing we are short of everywhere we go it's local knowledge. I remind Alex as we find ourselves tacking in vain and being swept further west to nowhere that we have barely arrived in the Caribbean. Still, he's cross when it becomes obvious that we'll have to motor into 20 knots of breeze to get to where we intend to go. "It's embarrassing," he says later. Who knew except me? I put his sensitivity about such matters down to too many years spent racing yachts. Then everyone was looking.
|Old fella on the road to the Baie de Marigot|
|A palm tree draws attention to itself|
|The church in Le Bourg|
|At anchor, Le Bourg|
We still don't have internet on the boat. Perhaps in our next country we'll get lucky.
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