Start of the Passage from English Harbor to Portsmith, Dominica

Yesterday was chore day. Eric changed the forward racor fuel filter, changed the generator racor fuel filter, changed the main on engine fuel filter, changed the generator on engine fuel filter, changed the transmission oil and filter, ran the wing engine, and replaced the sea strainer for the diaphragm bilge pump. Eric also put the storm plates back on the salon (living room) windows, which we had taken down for the boat waxing. He also put Lanicote corrosion protector on the screws for the storm plates.

Christi did laundry, cleaned, and did the never ending and thankless job of reorganizing storage spaces.

This morning we walked over to Falmouth Harbor to go Continue reading Start of the Passage from English Harbor to Portsmith, Dominica

SCUBA diving around English Harbor

Today we went diving. We booked with the dive company located in Nelson’s Dockyard. The cost was $89 USD per person since we had our own gear, and without gear it is $110. He swore to us that he is the cheapest dive company on the entire island.

There were four people total, the two of us, a French Canadian, and the dive master. We did our own gear on shore, then all loaded into an 18 foot, open fiberglass boat with an outboard motor. It is the kind of boat locals use for fishing, and hadn’t been customized for diving. There were no tank holders or anything like that; you just kind of threw all your gear in a pile on the floor. This is the first time ever we have been on a dive boat where there weren’t two dive operators, one to stay with the boat and one to go under.

The first dive spot was Continue reading SCUBA diving around English Harbor

Nelson’s Dockyard Museum: Part 2

Continued from yesterday: The work was grueling, the conditions were extreme, and the sailors were paid almost nothing. If the crew didn’t move fast enough, they were severely punished. One of the more common punishments was being flogged (whipped). The whip they used was called “cat-o-nine-tails,” which had one handle with 9 cords. It was kept in a canvas bag. When the cat came out of the bag, someone was getting beaten, hence the term “don’t let the cat out of the bag.” Another method of punishment was making them hang on to the top of the mast for several hours. In bad weather and rough seas, this was horrible. Another was they would tie a man to a rope and dunk him repeatedly in the water. And yet another punishment was cleaning the head (toilet). All the punishments were always public and everyone had to watch except the skeleton crew needed to keep ship moving.

There was one ship surgeon on board, and no other medical staff. If you got hurt in battle, basically the only treatment available was Continue reading Nelson’s Dockyard Museum: Part 2

Nelson’s Dockyard Museum

Once again, we started the day with a trip to Pigeon Beach. Interestingly enough, when we arrived, the famous sailing ship “The Maltese Falcon”, one of the largest private sailing vessels in the world, was anchored in the bay. Wow. It is huge. It has a unique sail rigging that makes it distinctly recognizable. After some sun and swimming, we headed back to the boat. John was leaving today, so he got ready to go.

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We had a few hours to kill before heading over to the airport, so we went to the museum here in Nelson’s Dockyard. It is small, but incredibly interesting. Most of the Continue reading Nelson’s Dockyard Museum

Deep Bay, Fort James, & Exploring the Northern Coast of Antigua

Today we explored the northernmost regions of the island. The first place we went to was the beach at Deep Bay. You may remember that we attempted to anchor in Deep Bay when we first arrived from Barbuda. We remembered it was beautiful and thought it would be a nice beach to go back to. Getting to Deep Bay was a little hairy. We went to St. John’s, then headed west. In general, the roads in Antigua aren’t well maintained, but the road west was worse than usual. Near the bay, we turned off on a small side road that was nothing but a giant pothole. We think we Continue reading Deep Bay, Fort James, & Exploring the Northern Coast of Antigua