Precious Stuff

Join us for a day in the life of Fayaway’s inhabitants, as we currently reside in Antigua.

We began this typical morning after having a somewhat fitful evening of loud music (from a nearby club ’til 0100), strong wind gusts and heavy rain squalls through our anchorage in Freeman’s Bay, Antigua. Fayaway rocks around a bit with some gusts (this is ok), but sometimes we’re rudely awakened by rain blowing down through the open hatch, and so it takes just a few seconds to realize we must quickly chock the hatches closed else be soaked. Fortunately we haven’t received more than a few light sprayings, as the strong wind first gives enough warning. The rain stops just as quickly, prompting another reopening of the hatches. Temperatures throughout this process varies by only a few comfortable degrees (78-82F).

V-berth with view of the stars (and sometimes pelts of rain too!)

Usually I’m the first out of bed, urged by increasing morning light. I’ll usually wait for the shipstrike clock to chime again to know what time it is. If it’s earlier than four bells (6am), then I’ll try to get more sleep.

Shipstrike Clock, wound weekly.

I’ll start some coffee by boiling water in one of two ways: if battery level is high (usually over 85%) I’ll boil water via an electric (2-cup) kettle in about three minutes, because I know the sun will easily recharge the power used to heat the water. If we are lower in power (below 85%, usually because we had more clouds the previous day), then I’ll use the propane stove. This lower level occurred for the first time in Bermuda, with all the crappy weather there. Antigua weather is more consistent, usually sunny and very comfortable, so we make coffee using the 🌞.

Making fantastic coffee quickly using Aeropress and electric kettle.

While I’m working on the coffee, Kelly rises in anticipation of her first fresh cup. We use our Aeropress coffee press to make wicked good coffee. (a very thoughtful Christmas gift from our dear friends, Kris and John.)

I turn on the VHF radio and then vary between reviewing email, pressing coffee and peeking out through the companionway to check our proximity to others around. Email these days is down to about a dozen per day (compared to hundred or more a year ago). Among the more interesting email are the weather reports from Chris Parker, helping us to plan daily and future activities. Sometimes we are entertained with interesting ship-to-ship or ship-to-shore gossip on the VHF radio. I may also turn on the FM radio to a local station, offering an eclectic mix of reggae and “oldies”.

Just received fresh delicious baguette delivered for 10EC$.

Today I made banana bread for breakfast because we had too many ripe bananas (other days we eat yogurt with museli, or flag the croissant dude over for croissants au chocolat). After another cup of coffee, and more liesurely watching, listening and reading I lower and bring alongside KoryKory for a ride to Nelson’s Dockyard. We dump a small bag of garbage in the nearby disposal area near the dinghy dock.

KoryKory hanging by a halyard.

Today Kelly wants to drop off laundry, so we haul a bag of dirty clothes to drop off at a nearby building. Now with that load off our shoulders, we take a short walk to the post office, where we purchase stamps for 1.50 EC$ each, and mail a few Christmas cards. Then we backtrack a bit to visit The Signal Locker, a marine electronics supplier (also at the historic Dockyard).

Antiguan electronics store.

We discuss our autopilot issue with their Garmin guru William and end up ordering a $250 rudder position sensor, with hopes it will remedy our disgruntled Garmin autopilot. We’re told it will take four days to arrive. This news immediately alters our plans to sail to Montserrat on Thursday (two days away). The time is about 1030; so we absorb how our plans are impacted as we further contemplate how to kill time before we can pick up the clothes at 1600.

We brought along a dry bag with our laptop and iPad for some downloading and therefore head over to the Copper and Lumber Store, where we sit down, order a couple cappuccinos, and start absorbing WiFi. I download updates for three electronic chart programs while sitting comfortably in an open courtyard – except when darting in and out a couple times to avoid some light rain.

Cappuccinos and WiFi at The Copper and Lumber Store’s courtyard.

After paying for the coffee, we decide to walk about a half mile to a highly-regarded restaurant in Falmouth – Colibri. We received a hearty greeting from Karen who is working the lunchtime bar area. I ask, “what’s good today!?” She answers by mixing for us an unusual rum cocktail using homemade ginger beer and tamarind. (Hey, it’s after 1200!) Kelly orders a vegetarian crepe and I a Norwegian crepe. Scrumptious. We pay and say to ourselves again, “now what?” Undecidedly, we roam around the shops in Falmouth for a while before deciding to turn back toward English Harbor.

Norwegian crepe with house-seasoned salmon, fresh dill and spinach.

We walk briskly back to the Dockyard because of the frequent threat of showers today. Entering the Dockyard, we slow down to say hello to Brian Trautman who is med-moored on his Amel Super Maramu, Delos. He offers a wave back but looks busy working on his solar panels, so we keep moving onward to The Galley for a couple refreshing Widadlis. At the bar we meet and chat for an hour with an English couple who are visiting Antigua for their 16th wedding anniversary. We pass them a boat card, as they leave to pick up friends at the airport.

Eventually it is close enough to 1600, so we walk back to the laundry and pick up the neatly folded clothes, pleased that they are also in a large plastic bag because we are still under threat of squalls. Along our way back to the dock we stop by Nelson’s Dockyard Bakery for a couple meat pastries to-go. Finally, we get to KoryKory, unlock and motor back to Fayaway at the far end of the harbor. We climb aboard, settle in and play two games of cribbage while watching the sun. We notice two new neighbors (charter boats) and decide they are anchored safely distant to avoid bumping us during the night. I make a call to my mother to wish her a happy birthday. We wrap up by eating the meat pastries with a glass of wine.

This day is unusual because we didn’t go for a swim before sundowners; what a tiring day!

We have sundowners looking out to the SW. Montserrat on the distant horizon.

Phew! What a busy day! Our days at anchor are a mix of memorable music, swimming in crystal-clear water, interesting new (and old) friends, delicious food and local favorite beverages. What will we do tomorrow?? Somehow time passes too quickly but we are always embracing it as much as possible. We only have so much of this precious stuff available – make it count for you and others in your life!

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