Saturday, March 10, 2012


 We left Antigua on early Friday morning. It was cloudy with some rain and first  two hours we motored because the lack of wind. Later on the wind picked up and we had some good sailing for the rest of the way. 

We arrived in Little Bay early an afternoon and were greeted by coastguard directing us to Randezvous bay, next bay to the north. Prinz Edward and his wife were visiting the island with big military ship and they needed Little Bay for the official stuff. It wasn't a problem at all, just look how beautiful our anchorage was. Below is Randezvous bluff with tropic birds and falcons nesting in the rocks, to the right you can see a part of Little bay and on the next picture is a Randezvous bay with the only white-sand beach on Montserrat.


In the afternoon our friends, Marion and Harald sailed over from ST.Kitts and we had a nice evening together. And made a plan to do the island tour the next day.

I was really curious about the island, having seen a part of it from air. North west part is steep, lush and green, dotted with villages and narrow roads.

Our driver and guide was Joe Phillip, a legend among taxi drivers on the island. He has great knowledge about the life on the island, people, volcano, about how it was before, and is willing to share it with his guests.

One of our first destinations was AIR studios, that Sir George Martin, former Beatles producer, built in 1978. A lot of world famous artists, like Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton, Police etc. recorded there. The era of recording studio came to an end in 1989, when hurricane Hugo destroyed studio power generator.

This is the entrance to the studio.

And lovely view over the pool towards the west.

The inside of the main apartment.

To me it was a big deal walking through the recording rooms, where "Ebony and ivory" and "Every little thing she does is magic" were recorded. This was the music i grew up with.

The volcano was relatively quiet lately, so we were allowed to come pretty close to Plymouth, former capital. Nevertheless, there were signs reminding us we were in dangerous area.

This is a part of a road near Plymouth.

And the view towards volcano.

Marion, Harald and myself listening attentively to Joe's explanation.

And captain also...

The remains of the hotel near Plymouth

This was once the pool with great view to the east and south

The rooms are fool of volcano ashes

We then drove towards western coast, where the volcanic flow filled the valey with rocks and ashes and destroyed a golf course on it's path.

Most of the buildings are buried under 30 feet of ashes.....

This was a 3-stories house at the edge of the golf course.

This is how it used to look.

The great thing about touring with Joe is also his collection of photos of places and buildings as they used to be, so one can see the changes and devastation volcano made.

On our way we saw iguanas ....
... and falcons.

After busy day we all deserved a snack - we had a grilled chicken prepared by the nice lady on the photo.

I highly recommend tour with Joe, it was fun and filled with information we wouldn't have heard otherwise. If you ever get to Montserrat, you can contact him on VHF ch 8, call sign Avalon, or on phone  1-(664)-492-1565 or by e-mail .

We stayed  on the island until Wednesday, the weather  was to wild to sail on earlier - Marion and Harald tried sailing away on Sunday and they got 40 knots of wind with gusts to 50 on the southern side of Montserrat, so they came back. The rest of the days we were swimming, snorkeling, spending time with our friends, watching the birds... It was great, just the swell in the anchorage was getting worse and worse, otherwise we might stayed there longer.

But we will return. We have to, you see - we all have been drinking from that stream that has the power to make you come back over and over again....

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting! Greetings from Girona, Spain