Sunday, November 29, 2009

Robert and Steffi Two fellow Germans that I met at the docks in Jolly Harbout in Antigua and we had just returned from a day sail.
[17°3'56.39"N 61°53'3.25"W (facing N)]
Robert and Steffi
This is one of the pack of dolphins frolicking around the boat in Antigua. As is so often the case, by the time I had my camera ready and focussed the dolphins had gotten bored and quickly swam away. This is one of the pack of dolphins frolicking around the boat in Antigua. As is so often the case, by the time I had my camera ready and focussed the dolphins had gotten bored and quickly swam away.
This is one of the pack of dolphins frolicking around the boat in Antigua. As is so often the case, by the time I had my camera ready and focussed the dolphins had gotten bored and quickly swam away.
Today I finally took Zanshin I for her first sail. A German couple that I'd met on the cab ride from the airport to Jolly Harbour and invited for a sail came by and the three of us headed out for a short sail along the coast of Antigua, behind Cades Reef and into Carlisle Bay for some swimming. Robert and Steffi hadn't been on a sailboat before but did admirably. The sail out was slow with very weak winds, so I used the “iron genny” (engine) to get there and check out how good my work on the new impeller was - it functioned without a hitch or leak so I am pleased with my handiwork. The waters between Cades Reef and Antigua are shallow and I had avoided then before this sail, but they look shallower and more dangerous on the charts than in in real life and the trip was certainly a lot smoother inside the reef than outside of it. I had misjudged the furling line positioning for the genoa though, but luckily Robert and I could get it sorted out manually at anchor.
After we'd swum around the Bay and relaxed in the sun long enough, we headed back toward Jolly Harbour under just the genoa, mainly because the course was pretty much downwind and I was too lazy to unfurl the mainsail again. The wind had picked up a bit and soon we were on our way at between 5 and close to 7 knots. The trip was smooth and comfortable and, unlike the first parts, there were no fishing traps to avoid. I noticed a couple of splashes ahead and soon we had a pod of 4 dolphins swimming alongside the boat! I had my little Sony camera to hand and ran up front to get some action shots but in my excitement I managed to take 4 great shots of my left index finger. The little camera has the lens positioned exactly where one would put the left hand... The only dolphin picture that I got is posted here, but certainly isn't a particularly good one. The last photo is after we successfully docked at Jolly Harbour and were enjoying a celebratory Carib beer.
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