Say hello to episode four of our around the world sailing journey. This episode documents a small slice of our time in Antigua and some of the various, everyday, but kinda different activities that we experienced.
First, let’s talk about Antigua.
The island is located in the Caribbean (just so we’re clear) and it’s where we bought Alfie, our thirty year old sailboat. Antigua was previously owned by the United Kingdom, but recently attained its independence some fort years ago. Because of its past, the island’s culture is both Caribbean and English, so it’s not uncommon for one restaurant to serve fish and chips, while the next serves traditional rotis (a burrito with curried veg, beans, and your choice of meat).
Now a bit of history shall we? Antigua was a strategic naval base for the British Navy who protected the land against pirates who sought to disrupt their sugar trade affairs, as well as other European countries who posed a threat (like the French & Spanish). Because of Antigua’s previous ties to the UK and it being a naval base, this is the epicenter of sailing in the Caribbean (unbeknownst to us). Throughout our time there, we were surrounded by not just cruisers (regular live aboard people like us), but also hundreds of classic cruising yachts, mega sailing yachts, and mega yachts that were either leisurely stopping in or partaking in a race or event. It was a busy, busy, busy place that truly mimicked the Deck Down Under reality TV show, which made it really strange at times, but also really fun and exciting.
Want more history? Don’t worry , later in the video, Myers gives us a thorough tour of the area, so I’ll leave it to him to be your historian.
Now let’s talk about the real shit that happened.
Prior to leaving Florida, we shipped our belongings via sea freight and ourselves via airplane with only a week’s worth of clothing, thinking that all would be well upon arrival, that we would; check in, contact our broker, have our stuff delivered, unpack, and then begin to convert this thirty year old boat into something like a home. Except that’s not what happened, at all.
Our stuff was held up in customs for almost three months, the stuff that contained really necessary tools, the majority of our clothing, the sheets, pillows, blankets, and towels we just purchased, new kitchen items, medicine, books, basically – everything we freaking owned.
It was such a clusterfuck!
And the hardest part was the missing tools, because almost everything broke that first month and without tools, we were without running water, a running refrigerator, electricity to power lights and electronics…… it was a true test of facing adversity, especially with the pressure to be living out “the dream.” Eventually though, our stuff was delivered, which is what you witness during this episode, as well as us traveling into town to do basic human things like visit the post office, grocery shop, buy a new motor, and have lunch.
Finally, while the island of Antigua brought a lot of hardship, it will forever hold a place in our hearts as the place where it all began, where we said yes to our greatest journey yet, and hopefully one day, where we’ll pull into the harbor having come full-circle with a completed circumnavigation!
We hope you love the episode!
All our love,
Allie and Myers