I just got back to the boat after skulking around in the air-conditioned supermarket here in Jolly Harbor Antigua for almost an hour with, I confess, no intention of purchasing anything. The sole purpose of the visit was to cool down. The operation was rendered useless though because by the time I got back to the boat I was drenched in perspiration again. For the first time since we moved on board a year ago now, I am tempted to jump ship.
Most people think we’re living in paradise. HA! This past week has been more like hell. The temperatures have been in the 90‘s, there’s not a puff of wind, or as the French say, ‘not a fart of wind’ and it’s so humid that the dried beans on my spice necklaces* are starting to molt. Torrential rain pours down intermittently day and night does nothing to cool the air and means we have keep the hatches closed effectively turning Taka Trois into a boiling hot steam bath and I really hate steam baths.
If that’s not enough, the island currently has an infestation of mosquitos which plague us by night and as its mango season here, the flies are out in droves driving us mad all day long. I find myself looking longingly at the catamaran next door and the German boat across the pontoon which have air-conditioning wondering if it would be weird to ask them if I could rent one of their cabins...
After leaving Les Saintes, we stopped again in Deshaies, Guadeloupe before heading to Antigua en route to St. Martin.. This time, we did get ashore to visit the botanical gardens (well worth the trip, see photos below) and to spend a day with Sylvie and Patrick who live in a lovely wooden chalet of sorts high up in the hills. They took us snorkeling in the famous Parc Cousteau, but unfortunately the weather was abysmal and not worthy of a photo-op. One more thing on the list of things to do again...
We planned to stay in Antigua for just a few days to meet up with some friends and to conduct some business with the head of the water company there. The miserable weather and the elusiveness of that guy kept us there for more than a week and made it a challenge to keep our spirits up. To give you an idea of what I'm talking about, let me share with you a snippet from my journal notes of that week:
Ok, enough! You get the picture. The silver lining to our enforced stay in Antigua is that we got to spend time with the crews of three boats, each with their their own particular cruising style and all of whom are very dear to us. You know our story well by now, but I thought you may find it interesting to hear a little about them, so in my next post I will tell you a little about them.
*Spice necklaces are strings of fresh spices made by the market ladies of Grenada and are comprised of a combination nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon bark, cocoa beans, bay leaves and other local ingredients. I have four of them swinging gaily in our main cabin, the ones pictured here are aboard a friends' boat (click on the picture to enlarge)
Debbie is first mate of Taka Trois as well as head cook and chief provisioning officer.