Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Another type of fishing that is becoming more and more popular among visitors is light tackle inshore fishing which includes fly fishing. Fly fishing has been popular on lakes and in streams in Europe and North America for years and years and the salt water variety is fast becoming as popular. Little lures which can be as small as a bee are cast in shallow waters where some fish congregate to feed or lay eggs. How an angler retrieves the lure can excite the fish and lure it to bite the hook. This method of fishing is quite challenging and rewarding for those people who like areas off the beaten track. Barbuda has excellent inshore fishing and fly fishing as does areas on the North of Antigua. Both islands have several guides that can help you find good places to do this sort of fishing.
Another popular type of fishing is what we call bottom fishing. This is the most traditional method of fishing and can be done from either a boat or from the shore. You get a hook some bait and a sinker, throw your line over the side and wait. If you are in a good spot you may get a delicious snapper for dinner. All of these fishing methods require patience, dedication and a general love for the outdoors. Release what you are not going to eat and enjoy, but keep in mind the other thing some wise man once said: “Every day is a fishing day, but not every day is a catching day”.
I am off to the shops to get a few gifts last minute. Here is one for you. It is wall paper for your computer. If you need directions on how to use it as your computer screen's background just ask for directions in the comments section here. Thanks and enjoy! Here is the link.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
On Tuesday I called JD and Tony who were skippering the Xtreme and Eco Tour boats and asked them if they had people who booked online with us for those tours so that we could offer them a free sailing tour. I needed some real live tourists to test the tour out and tell me what they thought.
We convinced 5 people to join us on Ocean Nomad for a comp day sailing trip on Wednesday and met them with the boat in Jolly Harbour at 9:30. Four of them were from Sandals and one other from the same area. The day went as planned even if the winds were extremely light. One of the guests posted these images on facebook. Remember that if you are on Facebook you can become a fan of Adventure Antigua and add photos or video too.
On Friday was the first proper paid sailing charter. The guests had found www.sailing-antigua.com through this blog and liked the idea of sailing with their family on a fast boat that was built right here in the Caribbean. Of course these boats were designed to carry huge amounts of cargo and to do it quickly. Ten family members is the max that we plan to take and they joined the boat with plenty of room to spare. Off to Cades Reef for our first snorkeling session and then on to Carlisle Bay for more and some chill time before the regular Adventure Antigua lunch.
In the afternoon we cruised up to Rendezvous Bay as it was so calm there. It was a private charter so they could go wherever they wanted once we could be back before dark. The sail back down the coast was very relaxing in the light winds. One of the guests had done plenty of sailing back in the UK and in the BVI so I let him have the helm for a while. All in all it was a lovely day and both trips went as planned. "Trip of a lifetime" was one of the comments I heard but generally all of the guests thought that the day sailing trip was something unique and fantastic.
We are excited!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Adventure Antigua crew Tony and Jason came along as well as friends Guili and Glen. We cleared out from Jolly Harbour customs and immigration the afternoon before and met up at 4:30 am the next morning in the dark. When we go out the harbour the winds seemed to be blowing out of the north east at about 15 knots which was great for sailing to Saint Martin 89 miles to our north-north-west. After everything was set up and we were under way with Tony at the helm and the sun rising I decided to go and have a nap below.
I didn't sleep much if any and after a while i felt the boat start to rock and roll more than it had done so far. I also noticed through the cabin hatch that the sky was turning dark again. A squall must be approaching and Tony would need help.
By the time I got up top the rain was just starting to fall and the winds were blowing about 25. Tony was struggling to keep the boat on a broad reach as she tried to round up into the wind. We had far too much sail for those conditions, but it was too late to reef them (make the sails smaller). Anyway, the winds had peaked and Tony was managing to hold her steady even if it was with great effort. Tony is one of the strongest guys i know (pound for pound). I went back below to snap a few photos of the boys in the rain.
After the squall, as is usually the case, the winds dropped down and sailing was very easy once again. It was sunny now and We could see Redonda, Nevis and just make out St. Kitts. The seas were a choppy 4-6 feet and there were flying fish everywhere.
After an hour or so we saw another squall coming and this time the winds hit us harder than before with gusts up to 30 knots giving me loads of weather helm
I took over from Tony and struggled to keep the boat on course wishing that we could reef the main to make it easier and safer. Guili was on the main sheet trying to depower it as best he could as the rain and winds tried their best to overwhelm us.
This time after the squall had passed the winds didn't back off and we were left sailing in more wind than the boat was designed to carry those sails in. Without gloves, my hands would have been rubbed raw by the tiller and i was very happy for them. After about two hours i was exhausted and asked Tony to take over. He didn't last that long and I was back on again. This time i asked Tony to help me hold the tiller as it was just too much for me. After a few more hours we finally saw St. Barts way off in the distance, but as we saw it the winds picked up more. Now that we could see land ahead of us i felt comfortable giving Guili the helm for a while. Many people find it hard to sail in a straight line out at sea if they haven't had much experience, but with land ahead I knew Guili would find it easier. He did a great job but needed a bit of help in the strongest gusts. Along the way we managed to catch several small tuna and a few cuda as well, but slowing down to bring them in was far too difficult. After the last fish we kept the line out of the water. None of us had ever seen as many flying fish leaping out of the water and gliding left and right. The winds didn't ease up until we were in the lee of Gustavia 12 miles from Saint Martin's south eastern tip. Once we were in the channel again the winds started to howl. It took us exactly 12 hours to sail from Antigua to Saint Martin averaging 7.5 knots, and on a traditional wooden boat I think that was very fast. There was a two hour stretch where we never went slower than 9 knots and we hit many tens and quite a few elevens. Three times while surfing we went over 12.5 knots which i doubt i will see again for some time. We were exhausted by the time we approached Phillipsburg just at sunset. It's a good thing we didn't arrive at night as they were dredging the harbour and massive dredge pipes were where the normal channel was. Just after dark we managed to get a spot next to a tug boat at Bobby's Marina. It was too late to clear in so we just had dinner and crashed. IT had been a very long day and we were all spent.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Monday, December 08, 2008
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Saturday, December 06, 2008
over to the brand new and very fancy B Dock in Jolly Harbour. Charles Kenlock came over to congratulate me for being the first boat to ever throw lines on to his new dock. Adventure Antigua's day sailing boat was looking fantastic! Later in the afternoon Genesis came alongside with her skipper Alexis Andrews and his family. It was good to see the two 40 foot Carriacou sloops together again and interesting to look at the slight differences too. Anyway, there should be 5 races today in Five Islands Harbour and outside Jolly Harbour and the two sloops will be match racing the whole time. We are in the Cruising Class with just three classics with all the other cruisers. The faster Racing Class boats will be starting behind us but doing the same course. Our crew will be sporting our new T-shirts. It should be fun. Party at foredeck and castaways later.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
This past weekend we decided to go sailing with some friends on the approximate route that we would take on a proper tour. It was very windy and quite rough out in the open which made for good practice and good fun. Speaking of practice, there is a regatta this weekend which we will be taking part in. We have all the crew in place and did some proper training yesterday too. Anyway, the video is a collection of movies we did on our mellow cruise on Sunday. Hope you enjoy. The music is from the Album Blue Lines by Massive Attack.