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Grenada to Antigua 2017

19th May 2017 - QM2 Experience

See latest blogs. Back home in UK 20th May to sunshine and busy forward schedule of work, catching up with friends and family and arranging maintenance to BriZo back in Antigua.


16th May 2017 - New York to QM2

We had a great week as you would expect in New York, Pats birthday was on the 9th and she had a wonderful lunch in Central Park and Broadway in the evening. We also managed to fit a flight up to Niagara falls two days later. By the 15th of May we left the hotel in South Central Park to head for the Queen Mary at Brooklyn Terminal. Pat is so excited. (see pictures below).


6th May 2017 - Flying Antigua to New York

Getting anything done in race week with contractors was always going to be a challenge as many racing yachts break things daily. But that was offset by friends of ours being around, Mervyn and Amanada. Mervyn is building a house on the islands and is also an active member of the Antigua racing fraternity. He introduced us to the Tot club and on Monday the 1st May we had been invited to attend as 'friends of a member'. Members meet every evening throughout the year to listen to readings from Royal Navy history and toast Her Majesty, the Queen (in Rum). There is a different toast for each night of the week - ours being 'To our ships at Sea and the Queen, God bless Her'. This evening a 'mismuster' occurred as a new member was joining and we were lucky enough to have a second Tot ! Pat and I had now moved to the Copper and Lumber hotel in the very center of the beautiful historic dock yard and all of the racing activities and celebrations and concerts - a very memorable if not busy week ensued before we locked up BriZo and handed the keys to Antigua rigging who are doing the guardianage.


2nd May 2017 - BriZo lifted into Baileys Yard at Catamaran marina Antigua.

Following another long week of preparation and contractor arrangements we had BriZo lifted 1st thing Tuesday morning. Luckily Glenn a knowledgeable Discovery skipper and friend helped for several days with the removal of the sails etc. An extra pair of hands is really useful at this stage. The 'reverse' into Baileys  unforgiving concrete narrow yard lifting slot is always stressful with the on-beam wind and zig-zag around the shoals. Worse this year as Antigua Race week had started and two of the top contenders were also moored either side of the entrance !
Still all went well and the yard lift team had us in the hurricane cradle by the time we had taken Glenn to the airport.

19th April 2017 - Anchor Falmouth Harbour Antigua and preparation for lifting.

By Wednesday the 19th we anchored again in Falmouth harbour and had a wonderful evening at Catherines cafe on the beach. The following 5 days Pat and I visited the many wonderful Classic Yachts mostly in English Harbour for the Antigua Classic regatta week as we started the long and busy preparation of BriZo for the hurricane season. In addition to these there are many Yachts around including 5 J class Yachts, the Maltese Falcon and many of the worlds largest yachts preparing to head North to Bermuda for the June Americas Cup and then the Mediterranean season.
On Sunday the 21st Wishanger II from the WARC 16/17 arrived and we had a very special evening up at Shirley Heights for sundowners and dancing as we overlooked all of these wonderful yachts (and our own) from what is still one of the most unique and atmospheric views in the Caribbean. It really confirmed why Pat and I preferred to lift in Antigua what end to a very special few weeks.

17th April 2017 - Arrived Antigua

After bidding a sad farewell on the 11th to friends remaining in St Lucia or heading back South to lift in Grenada we headed north for Martinique and a night off St Pierre. This was once the 'Paris' of the Caribbean before its adjacent volcano exploded and super hot ash from the Pyroclastic flow killed all but two of the 30,000 population in 1902 and sunk most of the ships in the harbour - the wrecks of which we had to avoid when anchoring in the bay.
Leaving St Pierre we sailed to Portsmouth in north Dominica where we stayed a couple of nights so we could take the tour of the Indian River and rain forest swimming in one of the many waterfalls.
following this we spent two days in the wonderful islands of Le Saintes south of Guadeloupe. We always enjoy stopping here its real shabby sheik  French. Pat shopped and we visited two of the many great restaurants.
From Le Saintes we headed north again for a lunch stop at the Cousteau Underwater Park part way up Guadeloupe for some fairly good snorkeling. An uneventful overnight in Deshais and an early start for a fairly lively 42nm long day sail into Falmouth Harbour by 17:00.
We checked in, stayed overnight and in the morning went around for two lovely nights in Nonsuch Bay. Again the wind was still up and it created breaking seas at the sand bar entrance to the Bay which we had to negotiate.
8th April 2017 Arrive Rodney Bay St Lucia to complete the World ARC circumnavigation.
Arrived at 13:03 local time, having left from here on the 4th of January 2014 - 3 years 3 months and 4 days - BriZo has now completed some 42,000 nautical miles and we have visited 37 countries. (The WARC route accounts for approximately 26,000nm).
It was an emotional arrival for many on the fleet as local school children sang a welcome alongside the cut into Rodney Bay  marina. I don't think I had realised the impact  until I saw Pat and others in tears on the dock - it was both exciting and emotional. A few rum cocktails and local music on the dock soon changed the mood and it was party time that went on long after the awards ceremony into the following morning.

7th April 2017 - Sailing the Windward Islands

To-date we have had a wonderful sail through the Grenadines and now arrived in St Lucia at first the Pitons where we anchored in between the two amazing peaks. Then now in Marigot Bay the last stop before the final World ARC officially ends in St Lucia on the 8th April.
We swam every day in the clear waters and visited, Union Island, Tobago Cays, Bequia and a day sail to Mustique (little loop on the map opposite) and then St Lucia.








Grenada to Marigot Bay St Lucia

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WARC completion at St Lucia

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St Lucia to Antigua

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New York and Queen Mary II

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Antigua 50th year Race Week 2017


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