Well we finally made it to Antigua yesterday afternoon after a hard sail up from the north-west corner of Guadeloupe. The wind wasn't really coming from the right direction for the course we needed to steer but we had to get here to start trying to find paintwork repairers and, given there was no forecast change in wind direction for the immediate future, we decided to push on. Needless to say we got blown miles off course but we made it and spent the best night's sleep at anchor we've had for weeks and weeks. Amazingly there was no wind at all and so Pandora sat perfectly still and calm .... lovely!
We've wandered around Nelson's Dockyard at English Harbour this afternoon - a very pleasantly restored Georgian dockyard and nice to see. Fortunately we timed our visit when there was no visiting cruise boat influx ... we experienced that once in St Lucia and it's never to be repeated!
In the next few weeks we plan to tick off Montserrat, Nevis, St Kitts, St Barts, Anguilla and Barbuda before returning to Antigua where we will haul out for the hurricane season, just across the way from where Nelson kept his boats away from prying eyes and in a hurricane hole. If it was good enough for Nelson, I'm sure it'll be good enough for Pandora!
It's hard to believe that we're so far into our Caribbean adventure now .... it's passed very quickly when we look back at it even though at times it's not been easy. We'll have covered most of the islands we wanted to see by the end of the trip with the possible exception of Tobago. And having had to spend so much time in the early months in and around Grenada, we won't make it as far north as the British and US Virgin Islands (the boat owners always said we wouldn't!) but we've sailed there before so at least we don't think we're missing out too much.
A lazy weekend ahead finalising arrangements for boat storage and (hopefully) the paintwork repairs, and then we can enjoy the remaining weeks without that particular cloud hanging over us. And if the conditions stay as settled as they have been in the last week, we might finally make it to the Caribbean paradise we always dreamt of!