A PERIPATETIC JOURNEY
not all who wander are lost
We returned to Counting Stars on Sunday, April 2. It had been a fun but a whirlwind week in North Carolina and Virginia. Brian was busy with work while Kendall and the kids went to the dentist, ran errands, met up with kids’ friends, and went to Richmond to visit her family. We stayed in hotels all week and it was strange to sleep indoors for so many nights in a row. Most nights, unless it is raining and we have to close the hatches, sleeping on the boat is basically sleeping outside. We had missed the fresh air and sound of the water lapping against the hull and it was great to be back on board.
We stayed one extra night in the marina to make sure we had everything organized and to get in a day of school before leaving the dock on Tuesday morning. An hour and a half later we were anchored in Carlisle Bay on the south coast of Antigua. It is a small bay with a resort behind a palm tree lined beach. The water was incredibly clear and we saw turtles swimming in the bay every day. It was so nice to be back at anchor and it was such a beautiful spot that we stayed for three nights. We had school in the mornings, then swimming and reading in the afternoon. Only Brian went to shore, and that was just briefly on one day; we were all happy to stay on the boat.
On Friday, April 7, we moved to Falmouth Harbour and went ashore to visit historic English Harbour. The museum and historic buildings were fascinating and we had a fun afternoon exploring the harbor. It was crowded at Falmouth, and we were more in the mood for a quieter, more secluded anchorage so we left early the next morning. Our next stop was Mamora Bay, a small, protected bay with a resort on its shores. As we sailed out of Falmouth and turned east, Brian saw a whale breaching in the distance leaving a huge splash. We continued on, keeping a lookout for the whales, but did not see them again. Just after we turned north toward the entrance to Mamora Bay, we saw the distinctive exhalations of whales just a little more than 50 yards in front of us, between us and the shore. Fortunately, since we were approaching an anchorage, all the kids were outside. We watched two whales surface to breathe when suddenly one breached just a couple hundred feet to our left! It was a thrilling sight. Marin said, “I feel like we are in a movie!”
When we entered the bay, we found only two other boats anchored there, one of which left soon after we arrived. The beach was lined with kayaks, paddle boards, pedal boats, and Hobie cats. We went ashore, secured a day pass to the resort, and had fun with the water toys, went snorkeling on the ocean side, and enjoyed the swimming pools. We had a fun two days there before moving to Nonsuch Bay on the east side of Antigua.
Nonsuch Bay is a large body of water protected by large reefs on the ocean side. There are many smaller bays scattered around the interior. We anchored in Hughes Bay near the Nonsuch Bay Resort. The resort has a very strong focus on water sports, including a kiteboarding school, a fleet of sailing dinghies from 7-22 feet (both cats and monohulls), wakeboarding, windsurfing, kayaking, and paddleboarding. They also have a very friendly and welcoming staff. We went up to the resort the first afternoon to check it out. Before we knew it, the Kids’ Club staff had swept up the girls into the evening’s activities: an early dinner at 5:30, followed by play in the Kids’ Club, and then to lounge chairs to watch a double feature on the beach. The girls enjoyed their evening and were excited to make some new friends. Meanwhile, Kendall, Brian, and Eoin had drinks and dinner.
After two nights in Nonsuch, we headed back to Jolly Harbour to check out of Antigua and do one last big grocery trip. The total was shocking, but we took comfort in the fact that it was in Eastern Caribbean dollars and not US dollars (EC to US is about $2.67 to $1.00), while trying not to think about how expensive food is in the Caribbean. Once checkout and shopping were complete, we went back to quiet Carlisle Bay to stage for the next day’s trip to Guadeloupe.
McGlynn family 5 (Isla, Marin, Eoin, Kendall, and Brian) sailing Counting Stars