Voyage of Traveler / Blog

January 29, 2010

Traveler Postcard From Antigua

Filed under: Year 3: July09 - July10 Greece to Newport Beach, CA, Caribbean — mrlawlerjr @ 2:48 pm

January 23 to 28, 2010
Nelson’s Dockyard, Antigua


Traveler St. Lucia to Antigua (view photo gallery)

“I HELPED HAITI.”  That was the title for the benefit concert and also what the souvenir T-shirts said in big bold letters, with “Dockyard, Antigua January 23, 2010″ in small letters underneath.  We arrived at the historic Nelson’s Dockyard on the island of Antigua just in time to attend the big event–with a dozen bands taking the stage from 5pm to midnight.  A local dance troupe of darling young girls entertained the crowd of 2,000 between bands. Several restaurants had food booths and were cooking up some tasty Caribbean barbecue.  The whole time a slide show of disaster photos of the devastating earthquake in Haiti was projected on a jumbo screen next to the stage, giving meaning to the fundraiser.  (These were the first photos of the tragedy that we saw.)

Superyacht Cup Antigua 2010.  About 30 amazing mega-sailboats gathered for the Superyacht Cup regatta hosted by the Antigua Yacht Club. The yachts were all over 100 ft., with many in the 200 ft. range.  The largest was Mirabella V (Google it for photos and details), which is the largest sloop in the world, at 72 meters (236 feet.)  The mast is 92m (351 ft.) above the waterline and is so tall the boat cannot pass through the Panama Canal because it will not clear under the Bridge of the Americas. The main sail alone weighs 4,000 lbs (2 tons!) and a forklift must be used to take it on or off the boat.  Mirabella charters out at the rate of $400,000 per week.  Brian and I crashed the cocktail reception for the owners and crew at the Admiral’s Inn at the Dockyard and met two of Mirabella’s crew.  They said we could go aboard for a tour, but would have to wait around for five days until after the owner and his guests left, which didn’t fit into our schedule. Oh, well.

Antigua and the neighboring island of Barbuda (along with an uninhabited islet called Redonda, 25 miles to the W–more about that in a later Postcard) make up the country of Antigua and Barbuda.  The islands were discovered and named by Columbus in 1493 on his second voyage.  The British Navy, under the command of Horatio Nelson, controlled most of the Lesser Antilles from the well-protected English Harbor and the neighboring Falmouth Harbor on the S coast of Antigua.  The country gained its independence from the UK in 1981.  Nelson’s Dockyard is a National Park with a dozen or so beautifully restored buildings from the 18th century situated one of the most picturesque harbors in the Caribbean.

We had a blast in Antigua.  Beautiful white sand beaches (they boast of 365 beaches, one for every day of the year), and fabulous and fun anchorages for yachting.

Our next Postcard will be from Montserrat.  Until then,

Living the Dream,
with Brian and Yansen


  1. You definitely mustn’t miss going out to Shirley Heights to see the Sunset on a Sunday. It’s party time with a bbq and rum punch cocltaiks with the biggest steel band I have ever seen. It’s great fun and fantastic views over English Harbour watching the sun go down over Montserrat

    Comment by Mohamed — October 2, 2012 @ 5:51 am

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