Christmas in Antigua

24 December 2018 Nonsuch Bay, Antigua
In the morning, we went out looking for a better place to snorkel. We tried in the approach to the bay, but everywhere we went was murky water. In desperation, we eventually stopped at a shallow sandbar/reef in the middle of the bay.

It wasn’t very interesting because it was mostly sand and broken coral with a smattering of small coral outcrops. However, I was excited to find a Spotted Cleaner Shrimp lurking in a Giant Anemone. I’ve been searching for this tiny one-inch long creature for months - ever since we came back to the Caribbean.

Mildly Panicking

It was really difficult to photograph because the anemone’s arms were swirling around all the time. The shrimp was either not in focus; or hidden by an arm; or an arm put it into shadow. After 20 minutes of patiently diving down again and again, I managed to get a few reasonable shots.

We had another quiet afternoon, playing Christmas songs. In the evening, we watched “Love Actually” to put us in the Christmas Mood.

25 December 2018 Nonsuch Bay, Antigua
Glenys made scrambled egg and smoked salmon on toast for our Christmas Day breakfast. We didn’t have any presents to open, which I suppose was a bit sad, but that was offset by the beautiful view of blue skies and turquoise seas as we ate our breakfast in the cockpit.

After breakfast, I switched on my laptop to check the weather and found to my horror that it wouldn’t boot up. Further investigation showed that the hard disk has failed and needs to be replaced. I hadn’t made a backup of my data since we went back to the UK in July, so I felt physically sick – I’d lost four months of photographs and other work.

After a cup of tea to calm down, I decided to try to get the data from the disk. I pulled an old USB disk drive to pieces and re-assembled it, inserting the hard disk drive removed from my laptop. Fortunately, we have a second, small notebook laptop, so with some trepidation, I plugged in the disk drive.

Christmas Dinner

I was so relieved that I could see the data. I immediately copied off my photographs and the other work that I’ve done since July. By midday, I’d recovered everything and started to make a complete backup of the data from the defective disk in case it completely fails.

We cracked open a bottle of Champagne and started our Christmas Day. Christmas Carols were playing on the stereo; the boat was filled with the smell of chicken roasting in the oven; and life was grand again. We had a lovely Christmas Dinner with all the trimmings and a nice bottle of Bordeaux. Feeling suitably bloated, we then sat in front of the telly to watch a James Bond movie – a perfect Christmas afternoon.

26 December 2018 Nonsuch Bay to Falmouth Bay, Antigua
I had the urge to catch some more lobster, so we dinghied back out to Spithead Channel. After a couple of tries, we found the small cave where I’d caught the lobster the other day, but alas there was nobody home. I spotted another lobster in another hole in the reef, but it was too far back to catch, so we gave up.

One of our cooking gas bottle is about to run out, so we sailed back around to Falmouth with the intention of getting it filled tomorrow. It was a lovely downwind sail – hopefully, we won’t have to go upwind again until we get to the Bahamas.

We popped out to buy a few provisions and then chilled out for the rest of the day.