Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The dry season in Antigua

On Tuesday late afternoon, after snorkeling, we walked to English Harbour. On our way we saw Cattle Egret on the fence. It is called so because it usually spends it's days around grazing cattle and feeds on insects. It is much smaller than Great White Egret, that is often seen in Slovenija.

We couldn't resist a photo in front of our favorite restaurant, Trappas.

After strolling through English Harbour we had a snack in Galley Bar. Coconut shrimps were delicious, but on our way back we decided that we still have a room for dessert and stopped in Cape Horn. They serve true French desserts, and all were yummy.

Next day we dinghied to Freemans Bay to walk up to Shirley Heights. As I saw how great the water looked around Bishops Reef, I was almost sorry I didn't go snorkeling again.

We passed by the entrance to English Harbour....

... and tied the dinghy to the small dock at the Galleon Beach in Freemans Bay.

It looked pretty with all the anchored boats and smoking Montserrat as a backdrop.

The trail up to Shirley Height was nice, but it was pretty hot. It was almost noon already and maybe we should have started earlier. The vegetation looked dried out and brown, it is no wonder since it haven't rained here for weeks, if not months.

There are lots of Agava plants along the trail, here they call them Century plants, because they bloom only once in their whole long lifetime.

The views were great from many points of the trail ...

... but even better from the top.

I took a photo of this Antillean Crested Hummingbird, I think my new camera is doing it's job much better than my old one has.

After a Pina Colada at the "summit" we returned down the same way and then we dinghied across the anchorage to English Harbour. We had a nice Roti and smoothie there. There were Bananaquits (the small yellow, black and white birds) helping to "clean" the tables after every meal.

We saw this Ruddy Turnstone in Falmouth Harbour the same day as we went shopping.

In the evening we sailed to Carlisle Bay. There was only one more boat there and it felt peaceful and quiet after lively Falmouth. In the fading light of the evening we first saw an Osprey flying low over our boat, and the the real treat - an West Indian Whistling Duck, rare and endangered local duck. Both birds we saw only because we heard them first, they both have very distinctive cry. I learned how Osprey sound not so long ago in Nonsuch Bay, and how the ducks sound last May also in Nonsuch bay.

Next day we sailed to Five Island Bay. The visibility was unbelievably good, we could see Guadeloupe, that is over 40 miles (75 km) away, Montserrat with it's smoking volcano, Nevis and even St Kitts.

I guess the visibility was so good because of dry air, that is the result of such long dry weather. But dry weather brings along also it's bad sides, not just that plants get brown and dry and even die, there are fires starting on many places in Antigua. I know I'm gonna regret saying this, but I really wish for some heavy rain!

Five Island Bay looked pretty in afternoon sun, there were only two boats anchored on the north side. We also anchored there, south side is prettier but the swell, even small, is making the nights there uncomfortable.

We swam, read, and girls and captain went dinghy-sailing in the afternoon.

We stayed in Five Islands Bay until next afternoon, then we moved to Jolly Harbour. It was time to say goodbye and in the evening captain dinghied the girls to the shore to catch a cab to the airport.

We stayed in Jolly Harbour that night and the next. We did some shopping on Saturday and cleared out, and on Sunday morning we sailed to Guadeloupe.

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