Posted by: yachtcrewsing | December 17, 2011

Arrival in Antigua!

Arriving in port after a week at sea has a very ritualized aspect to it. Firstly, we almost never arrive anywhere in the dark hours, as to do so would be unnecessarily risky and challenging. Thus, typically in the morning we inflate our 8 giant fenders and prepare the bow, stern and spring lines. Entering the port for the first time in in the season, especially when coming into the Caribbean after the cold of New England, is always immensely exciting. Crew members search the docks for boats on which their friends work, point out landmarks to crewmembers who are new to the location, and generally get an overwhelming feeling of almost being back at a second home.

The anchor is dropped, our captain skillfully reverses stern-to at the dock, and we throw the lines to the awaiting dock staff. The whole operation is relatively swift; everyone has their place and functions, and after 7 months of being together as a crew we execute the task with ease.

Once all the lines have been tightened on the winches and coiled beautifully on the railing (image is everything on a superyacht- it needs to look PERFECT at every moment), the cleanup begins. On deck, the boys begin the arduous task of removing the layers of salt caked onto the superstructure and give the decks a must needed scrub.

As for the interior? Just imaging your home being violently shaken, rolled and fully exposed to salty sea air for an entire week. Then add 9 people within 155-feet confines for that duration. Needless to say, a thorough interior cleanup is highly necessary. In addition, we are unable to use the washing machines while at sea due to the extensive rocking, and thus there is a seemingly insurmountable mountain of laundry to be tackled.

On Saturday, once the boat was looking more like a home again and less like a campsite in the jungles of Borneo, we had an additional atypical arrival task- putting up Christmas decorations!

After finishing our respective jobs at 3:30, we all jumped into our tender with bathing suits, snorkels and masks and headed over to the next bay for some swimming. The snorkeling was amazing- there was no one else in the bay, and we had the entire expanse of reef and vibrant fish and coral population to ourselves.

Coming back to the boat, we completed our arrival ritual with crew beers on the aft deck, listening to music and watching the last rays of sun set over the massive motor and sailing yachts that are once again our neighbors.

Our last requisite task for the evening was to have a famous espresso martini at Skullduggeries (a small yet busy bar on the docks) to catch up with old friends, shortly followed by Antigua’s best pizza at Le Cap Horn.

Thoroughly exhausted from being up since 3:00 in the morning for watch, it was not a late night…


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