3 Apr 2011

[Captains Blog] Jolly Harbour Marina, Antigua

Sitting here nestled in a nice berth in the marina with a wonderful supermarket on the doorstep where we can re-provision with a modicome of choice is nice, but it makes me lazy. I suppose we could say that we deserve a couple of days R&R after the slog we had getting here from Nevis. Incidentally, we passed within 5 metres of another whale on our journey here - the closest encounter to date, and quite frankly, I don't want anything closer! We only saw it as it was passing along our starboard quarter as a patch of very light turquoise water, almost white water as the light was reflecting back from the whale (which was white as it happens - moby dick perhaps???) The next thing we heard was its blowspout spraying water into the air.

What would have been the effect of an impact? Most probably we would have been holed. Fortunately we didn't have to find that out. But we do have provision for such eventualities with a grab bag of emergency kit that would be leaving the sinking ship with us into the liferaft and enable us to be rescued. Phew!

Actually, I seem to be having a few close encounters lately: I was just about to go snorkelling in a bay at the north end of St Barts the other day when I looked under Pandora doing one of my underwater checks only to come face to face with a 4' Barracuda that was hovering under the hull. I have read that they are attracted to shiny objects, and as I was wearing a silver Tumi, I decided it was best to cover it up immediately with my hand, before beating a hasty retreat back to the bathing platform and out of the water. Later on that day we were sharing the remnants of our dinner with the fish when I noticed a large fish-like shape come out from under the boat. I got the torch and shone it down into the water to see 2 sharks out hunting. The real predators always come out at night!