Friday, April 3, 2015

Long Island Antigua - Jumby Bay

March 30th
We decided to go around to the north east corner of Antigua and check out multiple bays and anchorages there. The whole area is comprised of very small islands, tiny spits, shoals and reefs.  Most are uninhabited.  However, Long Island is a private island and location of a top end resort and many nice, big, expensive, private holiday homes and villas.  Jumby Bay was reported to be a lovely spot to anchor with screaming fast wifi.  

We motored around the north end of Antigua because 1.) we wanted to get to the anchorage 2.) the area between the north shore of Antigua and a nasty reef is somewhat narrow so tacking back and forth didn't seems like a lot of fun.  3.) Mainly because I wanted to get there so we could get anchored and start exploring vs taking the better part of the day to tack our way there.

Carefully we negotiated some skinny water and arrived into Jumby Bay.  Picture perfect turquoise water, a sandy beach lined with umbrellas and lounge chairs, however sparsely occupied.  Only one other boat, a French cat.  And OMG......screaming fast, open/free wifi on the boat.  The strongest signal we've had to date this season!  Woo hoo!  But sshh....don't tell anyone else.

And then it started.....two motorboats circling in this small bay.  One pulling a water skier and the other pulling tubers - people ridding on/in what looked like a big red inflatable chair that sat 3 or 4 depending on the size of the riders.   The motorboats weren't intentionally trying to come close but they also were not trying to avoid coming close either.  This created waves from every direction.  Our dinghy Nick Nack was tied behind Honey Ryder and nearly flipped twice in the wakes.  Ugh!  Then they would go back to the dock and it would be ok.  However, soon they would get another round of guests wanting rides and boom, we were getting tossed about this way and that.  Unlike roll from swell, this was chaotic tossing about.  Besides being annoying, the whole thing just seemed......frankly........ill-bred.  Here is an uber posh, private island with a high end resort and yet they have....tubing.  Really?  Beach, seashore, paradise setting, company your with, pool, volleyball court and super fast internet (fast enough to watch any Pixar animated movie) isn't want.....tubing?!  Ugh!  ill-bred!  16:00 rolled around and I thought they might stop for the day.  Nope.  17:00 approached.  Surely they would stop.  Nope.  They didn't stop until 18:00.  Then suddenly the bay was magically transformed into the peacefully paradise we had heard about.  Beautiful sunset colors filled the sky and twinkling lights of tiki torches ashore started showing up.  We had a perfect overnight with little to no wind, calm anchorage and lots of stars.  

The next morning we awoke anew, the previous "tubing" day forgotten.  Tom went for a long kayak paddle and I took the SUP around the corner to look around.  Back at the boat mid morning I jumped in the water to clean the bottom of the boat.  However....cue the Jaws music....soon the two motorboats showed up at the dock and the rides started again.  Jaws music should be playing loudly in your head right about now.  At one point the tube boat got somewhat close and caused mountainous wakes to hit our boat, slamming the kayak,  SUP and me all around.  Enough!  We quickly stowed and secured stuff and pulled up anchor.  

The bay just around the corner showed promise.  We carefully and slowly motored a skinny section of water and then dropped anchor in Davis Bay.  Although work boats for the island come and go here, we were able to drop anchor far enough up in the corner of bay to stay out of their way and be protected.  The shoreline is posh vacation villas.  Tom's suspicion was correct, the same screaming fast wifi was available on this side of the island as well.  Woo hoo.  Paradise found again!  Snorkeling revealed starfish galore.  We stayed two nights!  *Pics are all from Davis Bay. 

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