Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Green Island and Nonsuch Bay

Rickette Harbor
April 4th, 2015
Our circumnavigation of Antigua continues.  After exiting North Sound, we motor sailed down the east coast.  The wind was just too tight on the wind to do it under sail only on a lee shore.  We got tossed around quite a bit with the angle we were sailing and the Atlantic waves.  

However, soon enough we were down to Nonsuch Bay and Green Island.  Once again the entrance to Nonsuch Bay is basically all reef.  Once again the Doyle Guide says something like "local knowledge only."  This time we listened as there was no channel marker, NONE and it wasn't easy to see the path through.  

Instead we went around the south side of Green Island.  We wanted to check out a couple of anchorages there anyway.  We did a drive by of the two anchorages and then entered the main anchorage in Nonsuch Bay, just off NW corner Green Island.  There were far more boats there so we turned around and went back to Rickette Harbor where we anchored as the sixth boat in that little bay. Even as we were anchoring, a couple of turtles popped their heads up to say hello.  Oh yeah.  This is going to be good.  Ashore locals had a big Easter weekend camp out going with tents, a kitchen and dinning tents and generator....which could only mean loud music.  Oh well.  We like Soca music - the most commonly played music that requires it be played loud.  However, they didn't run the generator/music all the time.  And it's wasn't like yucky Sandals Resort DJ by the pool "Are you ready?" loud so it was all good.  
Party ashore
We got in early enough to jump in the dinghy and explore a good part of Nonsuch Bay.  It's huge and basically no one was in there.  Everyone was crowded up at Green Island.  There were a few day sailors out of the Mill Reef Yacht Club but that was about it.  A person could take a week or more to gunk hole all around Nonsuch and have a wonderful time doing it.  

April 5th, 2015
Mid morning I decided to get off the boat.  Tom started refinishing the companionway woodwork and I was just in the way.  I went in search of the turtles we saw the day before,  I found two of them in the anchorage.  They always stop and look at you seriously at first, then they got back to eating grass as if to say "You seem ok.  If you stay there and don't come any closer, I will stay here and let you watch me eat grass.  But that is sort of weird and boring don't you think?"  To which I say "NO, Mr or Ms Turtle.  I never get tired of watching turtles."  I explored the rocks and coral all the way around.  Supposedly one of the bays on the south side of Green Island has lobsters.  "Tons.  You can just pick them up." another cruising couple told us.  Yeah right.  I never saw one and I looked.  Trust me.  Provisions are very, very low.
Charter catamaran with stern anchor out
We had some late afternoon excitement when three big charter catamarans came roaring into the bay and insisted in stuffing up into the very head of the bay.  There was room for one.  In an extreme situation like horrible weather....maybe two cats but certainly not three.  At one point it looked like they were going to raft up.  OMG.  We were on the outer edge just watching as it really didn't effect us since they were so intent on close in and closeness to each other.  However, sv Persephone and two other boast already anchored were very concerned.  There were words back and forth.  Finally everyone got set and settled down and all was fine.  Until......after 2 1/2 hours, the cat closest to us decided to row out a stern anchor.  WTF?  No other boats had stern anchors out.  It wasn't necessary.  Another of the charter cats did the same.  However, we were focused on the one by us.  Now with a stern anchor out, this cat would NOT swing in the wind but the rest of the anchoring field would....like us.  And most likely into that cat.  Argh!  We motioned and yelled over to get their attention.  The young captain waved his hand casually and then came over in his dinghy to discuss.  We explained our concern.  He assured us it would be fine.  "We set it slight to port off the the stern with some slack so it's ok.  Plus we will set an anchor alarm in case we move."  We tried to explain again that we weren't worried about HIM moving, in fact we are concerned because he won't move and we will.  "It's ok." he said casually "besides, we put out fenders.  If you do swing, we have the fenders out so it's ok.  If you are worried, you can put out fenders too."  And then he waved us off and left.  We were so stunned that we didn't say anything.  Then 5 seconds later it hit us - WTF!!!  "You can put out fenders." was his suggestion to the problem he created for us!  Argh!!!!  I decided to take detailed pics with my iPad.  And since we had internet, I also decided to email the charter company.  I politely told them that catamaran Isys II anchored near us and then later put out a stern anchor creating an issue and I shared their captains solution of "put out fenders" in case we hit.  I said this was NOT a solution in our mind and asked if that was a standard solution for their captains.  It was nicely worded with just the facts ( unlike this story that is going on and on) - plus my editor Tom read and approved it before I sent it.  No, I don't expect a reply but I thought they might like to know what goes on with their nice, big, expensive cats and at very least if anything did happen, I would be on record.  The previous night the wind shifted around and we swing nearly 180 degrees so we had reason to be concerned.  However we lucked out and the wind stayed east all night keeping us away from the med anchored cat.  

April 6th, 2015
Provisions very low.  Meals are really weird.  Rum is nearly gone.  Time to boogie!  However, we will definitely come back to Green island and Nonsuch Bay at some point.  

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