The weather has finally changed! We’ve enjoyed our stay in Jolly Harbour, but it is high time that we go some place quieter. We had a lovely motor around to the other side of the island with 15 kt winds and little to no seas. The reefs that surround Antigua provide quite a bit of protection from the seas provided you move during the day and have good charts. We’ve officially blown our budget of 400 nm for the season. Of course, we knew this would happen once we decided to pick up Chris in Puerto Rico and it really hasn’t been bad as we’re making short passages that are typically less than 24 hours. It is much more relaxing to arrive at a new anchorage after a couple of hours of sailing with enough time to have a bite to eat and take a nap before sunset.
We’ve dropped anchor on the in Lee Cove on the west side of Bird Island (possibly Great Bird Island, the charts aren’t quite great with the labels). We’re just off the northeastern coast of Antigua. Very good holding and plenty of sand. There are several small reefs around the island and a few barely submerged rocks, so it is probably best to arrive during the day if possible. Our first night was blessedly quiet. Apart from the wind and the occasional squawk from the birds on the sanctuary island, there was hardly a sound. The main island to the west does have some lights from an industrial area, but the winds carry away the smoke so it is really no bother.
The snorkeling around Great Bird Island is pretty solid. There are several reefs to explore and some active coral. The fish were a little bigger than those we typically saw around Ille Cabrit. We also found there to be plenty of turtles and a nice large ray that liked to hang out under our boat.
We planned to do a couple of days of school here at Great Bird Island before heading down to Nonesuch Bay on the southeastern side of Grenada for a week or two, but instead our new friends on s/v Prism talked us into going over to Deep Bay. While the snorkeling in Deep Bay was rather murky, it had a small ruined fort up on the hill above the beach. The beach was also top notch and the kids played at it every day until we decided to depart for St. Martin.