Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Holiday with Jozi - part 2

 After rainy morning in Anse de Columbier we sailed to Sint Maarten, to Dutch side, into Simpson lagoon. There is a bridge on the entrance that they open to let the ships in and out of the lagoon. Bridge doesn't look like much, so we were surprised about the size of sailboats and yachts that were waiting with us. And we were even more surprised at amount of big yachts in marinas in the lagoon.

Some of the boats really got in very slow, many "wearing" the fenders for protection. I guess with some of them there were only centimeters of space between the boat and the bridge.

 This is "on display" in the marinas in the bay - not quite as much as in Falmouth harbor, but close.

Another attraction of Simpson bay is the Princess Julianna airport with strip that runs from the beach in the west and almost to the water in the lagoon. So the planes are taking up above the masts of the anchored boats ....

... and those landing come to turn to the end of the strip right into the lagoon.

But best fun to watch the planes is from the beach in the Maho baai (bay). We dinghied there from Simpson bay (after spending three days in the lagoon, we felt like swimming again), and it was quite a ride to get there in not very calm water. Bay looked very pretty, but there was a lot of swell (big waves breaking near or at the beach, what usually results in dinghy getting turned upside down and people getting wet), so at first we thought of heading back to our boat. After a few minutes watching the swell we found the spot were it was the smallest, we made the plan that us girls jump out of the boat in 1m of water and immediately start pulling the boat on the sandy beach. And it worked perfectly!

There were a lot of people waiting for the early afternoon big planes, mostly for KLM's 747 that really flies low when landing and makes a lot of sand-blasting on take-off.

It was loud, hot and full of adrenalin, unfortunately i only got 747 landing on film and i can only post photos here. Sorry.

Next day early in the morning we sailed back towards Antigua. We were unable to sail directly, so we sailed between Statia and ST.Kitts towards Nevis. Sailing was again rough with several showers, not very nice. We stopped on the western side of the island and watching Nevis in the soft evening light made me feel sad that we couldn't stay there for couple of days. We spent the night there and sailed on to Antigua the next morning. Wind was straight on the nose, so this meant motoring and it was again a very rough ride with boat banging into the big waves, making only a slow progress.

We anchored in Jolly Harbor that afternoon and went through all the formalities on entering Antigua again. We were very happy to meet our friends Marion and Harald that evening. We got to know them in Mahon on Menorca, than we met again in Porto Colom on Majorca and were in touch ever since. We had a nice evening together.

Our original plan was to sail to Barbuda for a couple of days before Jozi's departure on saturday. But the weather didn't cooperate. Instead of "normal" 20 knots of easterly wind we suddenly got 30 knots of northeasterly, so we decided on making a tour around Antigua instead. We visited Falmouth harbour, had a walk to English harbor and a great meal at Trappas restaurant. Next we spent two nights on buoy in Nonsuch bay, which is one of my favourite spots in Antigua. It is a large bay on the northern side of the island, protected only by a reef from the Atlantic ocean. There's a lot of space, not many boats, and there's always a fresh breeze from the ocean.

This is a Bird island in the Nonsuch bay, on our previous visit we were on the buoy closest to it so i could watch the birds - pelicans, terns, fregatte birds, eagles etc.

 If you could see that far you would see Africa in this direction. And only reef protects the bay from big and wild Atlantic ocean.

The entrance to teh Nonsuch bay is not the easiest - one have to zig-zag between the reefs  and the water gets really shallow. There were victims of the reefs in the past ....

... and in present days.

This is not a boat, it just looks like one - it is called a Submarine rock.

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