Thursday, 22 January 2015

Trans-Atlantic in pictures

Enki motors up the west coast of Antigua

We arrived at Jolly Harbour on the west coast of Antigua four days ago. On our way in we registered the basking sharks and turtle off Irish bank, and the stunning blue of the shoal water. Our friends from Angel Louise, Ed and Sue Kelly, brought their dinghy out to meet us in the channel and guided us into the customs dock. So kind of them. Since then the local life and the colours have smudged and smeared. We kind of collapsed. Not actually, because we've been busily putting the boat back together, but as Alex says, the adrenaline letdown has been severe.

I won't write anymore about the crossing. Memory has begun its work of organising the experience into a few defined points (yes, Cathy Cook - just like childbirth).  Alex didn't take very many photos. He had too much else going on. When we reached for the camera it was often to photograph clouds. There was a lot of cloud action out there and clouds are very obliging photographic subjects. The sea on the other hand is famously resistant to being frozen in time.  Its essence is motion.

So here's a strip of photos of the ocean, the sky, the boat and of us for your (and our) retrospective enjoyment:

Departure  pic - skipper with attitude
The first few calm days gave us a chance to fine-tune the pole set-up

Calm enough to commune with dolphins riding the bow wave (below)

A Spanish tipple on New Year's Eve

Dust from Africa shrouded the sky for several days (and below)

Alex working on deck (and below)

Our daily noon positions (marked with an X)

We give thanks daily for the hard top

As the squalls build, we start to look crazier

HF radio contact was very difficult, and became impossible

The squall lines just kept on coming

Barb and Andy's gift of a Coast beanbag was never more appreciated

Moving mountains

A man's best friend - strapped down with shock cord

Heavily reefed genoa (and mainsail looked much the same)

He's enjoying himself (and below)

You can taunt yourself with miles-to-go, and ETA

It wasn't tropical


12 hours of darkness...

And the sun also rises again.

On the 18th day, the sails came out - "normal" trade winds

Easterly wind all the way, until it turned to the south - northerlies missing in action

Flying fish, and mis-directed camomile teabag

We're on the same page now as the Caribbean Sea 

You could get bored with weather like this

Time to raise the quarantine flag
It's safe to go to the stern seat now

He's not sure if he wants to go ashore

Sharks on approach to Jolly Harbour

Ahoy sailors - Ed and Sue Kelly come to meet us with the Go-Pro

Chatting to Ed at the Port of Entry, Jolly Harbour

We have so little idea about what to expect from the Caribbean, despite having a plethora of cruising guide books. Thus far we've been occupied with getting the generator working again (done), organising better security onboard, cleaning up, getting the dinghy and kayak back in the water, and so on. We opened our first over on West Indian soil by catching a local mini-bus into St John's, the capital of Antigua to buy phone credit. I was so foggy I forgot to go to the market which was right by the bus station. Things can only get clearer.

St John's, Antigua  (and below)


  1. Hooray for the Enkis!! All done in fine style. Can't wait to see what's next.

    Also happy to see Alex taking his people/street photography skills to a new place.

    1. What's next is coming into focus, but slowly...luckily the camera focus is sharper!

  2. Just adore those sea dogs
    ... And the rogue tea bag and fish