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I've spent quite a bit of time in Antigua, most of that time somehow just drifted by without my realizing it. I often anchor in the middle of Falmouth harbour but have also stayed elsewhere on the island as well as at the docks (and on the hard) at Jolly Harbour. Falmouth harbour is home to many mega yachts calling in or more-or-less permanently docked at one of the 3 major docks, and many more anchored in various places in the sheltered waters of the harbour. The holding is generally good except for one or two spots in the centre, I woke up one morning with a beautiful yacht Latifa only yards from my bow. As I was sure that I gave that boat a good 100 feet separation when putting down my chain I knew that I had either dragged upwind or he had repositioned himself during the night. The owner and I talked and since his classic yacht is a lot more work to re-anchor than mine I opted to let out another 50 feet of chain (but now I was close to another boat so I motored the dinghy over there to explain the situation). I later visited Latifa and got a grand tour of that a wonderful classic yacht.
The “Mad Mongoose” bar on shore offered free Wi-Fi internet 24x7 and is therefore the central meeting point for yachties; plus their happy hour starts early and lasts a long time and sailors are masters at sniffing out bargains like that; but they unfortunately shut down in 2016 and the new owners have made the place into something quite different and less interesting for yachties. I met quite a few interesting people there, and am certain that they thought the same thing about me. Just a few yards from Falmouth is the famous English Harbour and Nelson's Dockyards, the oldest working shipyard in the western hemisphere. The dockyard has been transformed into a working museum, with guided tours going between the buildings and into some of the businesses; a bad thing when a herd of visitors crowds into a working sail making loft and trod across the clean floor or laid-out sails.
I was in Antigua for the kickoff of the Bucket (I stupidly declined a crew position for one of the boats!), then for the Classic Race week and finally for the big Antigua Race Week, which was renamed this year after the official sponsor, Stanford, fell out of grace with the FDC and various other judiciaries.
The island offers quite a bit of things to see and do outside of the yachting world. While mostly arid and devoid of original growth due to over farming, there is a section of old growth and I joined Barry and his family and some other friends on a Zip-Line tour. They had drilled the holes for the thick supporting wires through Kapok trees which just continued to grow despite the multiple piercings. Kapok used to be a cash crop tree, the insides of most cold-weather jackets were filled with kapok before modern fibres supplanted it. The town of St. Johns is picturesque (and full of cruise ships and guests), and the west side has beautiful reefs.
One of the biggest sailing events in the Caribbean and one that most sailors know, is the annual Antigua Sailing Week event, where hundreds of sailors converge on the island for a week's worth of racing and partying. While I don't race, I do show up there to volunteer and work on the committee boat for the duration. I put together some pictures that I took during the event which can be perused at ASW 2013 and ASW 2014
For a map with clickable pictures from this site displayed geographically please click here