One of the first things Ryan noticed about Antigua is the number of amazing yachts. So, when we found out there would be a mega yacht race while we were there of course we had to go see. The Superyacht Challenge Antigua is an event with 4 days of racing and lots of partying. And no, we weren’t invited to participate! 😉 On the first day of racing we headed up the hill to get a good view of the starting line. I was somewhat disappointed that they had staggered starts and didn’t all start at the same time but I guess when you are dealing with that expensive of boats you don’t want them jockeying for position and causing damage! That might put a damper on that nights party! It was fun to watch them under sail and a beautiful day to sit looking out at the water.
Here are some pictures of the yachts (and us and Stanley too!).
On Antigua we decided to take an island tour to a feel for the island. On other islands we had rented a car and driven around but Ryan told me he was on strike from driving anymore so we signed up for a tour! We used Tropical Adventures and really enjoyed it. I decided I was going to be that person who took pictures of everything (and I mean everything!) along the way. The full day tour had many parts; the first was a rough ride in a 4×4 jeep around some of the villages on the island. Then we went up on a hillside overlooking Falmouth and English Harbors. It was a lumpy, bumpy ride but our guide was a nice gentleman named Kendrick who assured us not to worry, he was a professional driver! 🙂
Our guide Kendrick as we set off on our adventure!
Ryan’s glorious locks flowing in the breeze.
Old and new…
Above Falmouth Harbor.
Can you spot Ryana?
Ryan and the view. Not sure which is better looking! 😉
After driving through the villages and bouncing our way up the hills we stopped at a donkey sanctuary. Here you can look at and pet the donkeys but not ride them! Ryan thought they all looked sad like Eeyore but he made a few friends!
“There is only one rain cloud in the sky…and it’s raining on me.” ~Eeyore
One of the donkeys are curious about Ryan!
Ryan’s made a friend.
I think this one sort of likes me!
After all that excitement at the donkey sanctuary we had lunch at Betty’s Hope which is an old sugar plantation. Most of it burned down at one point but the sugar mill is still standing. We looked around here for a while and then had lunch delivered by some local ladies who had cooked it up themselves. Yum!
Ryan and the windmill.
Our trusty jeep.
Continuing our action packed day our next stop was kayaking. We kayaked through the mangroves on the east side of the island and found some interesting sea life! Our guide pulled sea cucumbers and jelly fish from the water as well as pointing out many different crabs wandering around. He also showed us a small island in the mangroves where they grow weed. Nice…
View from the kayak.
Ryan found a conch!
And we’re still going!! Next stop was some snorkeling off the boat.
Our final stop of the day was Bird Island where we enjoyed some rum punch and a small hike up to the top to see the view. It was such a great day and we enjoyed been shown around the beautiful island of Antigua!
Where we are staying in Falmouth Harbor Antigua is right next to English Harbor which houses the oldest dockyard continually in operation: Nelson’s Dockyard. It was built by the British as a place to keep their ships in order to protect their interests in the Caribbean. Also, it is a great protected harbor that will keep ships safe in a hurricane. Construction of the Dockyard began in the 1740s and today it is in use as a marina with a museum, lots of shops and restaurants. It was fun to explore the history and see all the restored buildings.
Another interesting thing is that here at the Dockyard they have several small boats that have been used to row across the Atlantic. They are very small, completely exposed and have just a small water tight compartment to sleep. They are not even allowed to have a sun shade up because that could be considered a sail! As we’ve been here there have been more rowing boats arriving in the harbor after 45+ days at sea in the Atlantic. Crazy! It’s fun though to hear the honks and horns of boats cheering their arrival. Our friends from Te Mana saw one arrive and said the folks couldn’t even stand up when they got off the boat! Ryan’s question…. Why would anyone do this? Don’t they know how to sail? LOL!
We have finally found a calm anchorage well protected from the wind and swells in Falmouth, Antigua. After our first night here Ryan said he woke up and thought we were in a house it was so calm! The green hills all around the anchorage are really pretty and the sunsets here have been spectacular.
Here are some photos of the anchorage.
Ryana at anchor:
The amazing sunsets:
Our new favorite hangout: