47. Life on Anchor

A common misconception is that cruisers spend most of the time on the move. That you set sail and go somewhere every day. That is rarely the case. Most long distance cruisers go further when they do set sail, often over night, before they set up camp at the next place that they want to explore. You drop the hook and the boat is quickly transformed from an ocean going vessel into a home. The stand up paddle board, dinghy, sun cover, swimming platform, hammock and all sorts of other stuff that has been safely stored for the passage comes out for your life on the hook. Then, if your new ‘home’ is in a new country, it is time for formalities. Health check, immigration, local currency and new SIM cards for the phones. After that, there is almost always something that you urgently need before you can enjoy the new place. Petrol for the outboard, gas for the cooker, fresh water or a spare part for something that has broken on the boat. I find that it usually takes a couple of days until you really get to enjoy your new environment. Only then is it really time to do what you came for. To find your favourite watering hole, talk to locals and fellow cruisers, figure out what you want to see on land, rent a car, hike somewhere or just stroll around the place and enjoy the atmosphere. And when you are done with the place, you need to stock up, find someone that will take care of your laundry and pack away all the stuff again before it is time to clear out of the country and make sure you meet the requirements for entering the next place.

We are now in Antigua. It is hard for a sailor not to enjoy this place. This was the English naval hub in the Caribbean in the 18th and 19th centuries and Nelson’s Dockyard has been beautifully restored into a Unesco World Heritage site that is well worth a visit. The place is also full of superyachts and all sorts of establishments that are ready to offer anything that a cruiser needs. In my case, I need a professional rigger as Saoirse’s standing rigging (essentially the wires that support the mast) is eleven years old and due for a replacement. Fortunately my former colleague (actually an Executive Manager), Ruud Bosman, is anchored right next to us and has put me in contact with a rigger that I hope will be able to help out. But more about that at a later stage. Now it is time to do what we came for. To see the place. Tonight we are off to a steel band and barbecue party at Shirley Heights. Overlooking the spectacular English and Falmouth Harbours. Life on anchor is good!

Life on anchor
Emergency washing on anchor. A washing machine is high on the list of things I want on Saoirse!
Deshaies, Guadeloupe
Roosters everywhere!
Watering hole in Deshaies
Taking the ‘car’ into town
Botanical garden in Guadeloupe
Falmouth Harbour from Saoirse’s anchorage
Nelson’s Dockyard at English Harbour, Antigua
Boats in English Harbour. Telephonica Black took part in the 2009 Volvo Ocean Race
These guys just rowed across the Atlantic! The average is apparently 55 days so they did really well
Ruud and Laurie Bosman after buying me lunch in the marina. Ruud actually sailed on Saoirse on her maiden voyage back in 2010. But that’s a different story
Ruud and Laurie on Blue Pearl. Their beautiful Hylas 54. They have already completed their circumnavigation

8 thoughts on “47. Life on Anchor

  1. hi tomas

    great to see your latest blog. i am mad green even though i am just home from a fantastic weeks skiing in Austria

    you appear to be working your way through the windward islands and it brings back memories of when i was there in the 1990’s what a trip especially for your crew

    planning a trip to pontoon b in February. wont be the same without you. then you never know. there could be another tomas, jim etc!

    regards, fergal


    1. Thanks Fergal. Good to hear you got to Austria in the end. We are really enjoying this part of the world. I’m sure you will find another Tomas in Lanzarote. Probably not another Jim though. He was pretty unique. I saw his boat in Martinique. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of it though. Say hello from me when you see him. Best. Tomas


  2. Wow, just WOW!!! The sights are absolutely amazing, Tomas! The wildlife, the boats, the towns — it all looks amazing! It sounds like you all are having the time of your lives!!! And that is exactly what it’s all about!!! Looking forward to your next write-up and following pics (assuming you were able to get a new cell phone for pics — drone footage as such, too?) — please, keep the posts coming! I’ve got 15 degrees Fahrenheit (during the day and then sub-zero temps at night), here, and 8″ snow on the ground — your posts provide much needed respite! All the best, ~ Chelle


  3. Hi, it is always fun to read the updates and to look at the nice photos. It makes me dream a little. I hope you had a nice barbecue last night?
    Jonte, did you buy a local sim-card?
    Take care


    1. Hey dad! We had a really nice barbecue yesterday. Yes I have bought a new SIM card. I will write to you on WhatsApp.
      Sincerely your favourite son, Jonathan.


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