10 Apr 2011

[Captains Blog] Nonsuch Bay, Antigua

After a lengthy sail to Barbuda and back yesterday (most people go there and stay, but not us!) we picked our way carefully over the shoals and between the reefs and glided into Nonsuch Bay avoiding the horseshoe reef just inside the bay to pick up one of the newly placed mooring buoys and settle down for the night.

I had downloaded the grib (weather forecast) files for the area which had shown that there was a weather front coming in during the night, which would invariably bring with it some freshening winds, so mooring was a good idea for us. We sleep much better than when we are at anchor and have to keep checking our transits during the night to make sure we aren't dragging. Sure enough, the front came through and we had some heavy rain for about an hour. You know the saying "rain before seven, fine by eleven"? It is very true. by daybreak the rain had stopped and as I write this at 9:30 the sky is brightening and the clouds are dissipating. We were planning to leave this morning and head back round to Falmouth Harbour.

At about 9:00 we were hailed by the skipper of a super-yacht that has been anchored in the bay for a few days to ask us whether we would be leaving today. As it happens, he uses the bay regularly on his charter trips and was planning to depart today. However, his boat draws 16 feet which means that he can only use the deep channel to enter and leave the bay. Whoever planted the mooring buoy that we are on had not considered this, and with the proximity of the horseshoe reef to our position there is not enough room for the deep draught yacht to pass us by and leave the bay. Somewhat short sighted planning, methinks. The powers that be who set the moorings have not been to collect any money from us, so we don't know who is responsible, but we are not complaining. Effectively, the super-yacht would be trapped in the bay if we were of a mindset to be awkward. Such power we minions wield from time to time! It's a good job we are reasonable people ....