Antigua – Part 4 Fun Beach Photos

sunset caribbean beach sailing

Antigua Beach Photos

Part 4 of our vacation blog, includes fun beach photos of Antigua. There’s something about being in the Caribbean that makes you want to take tons and tons of beach photos. Perhaps it’s because we can look at them at home on days that it’s wet and rainy?  During our stay, we walked the beach during the day and also during a few sunsets (well we have to get our steps in!).

So along the way, we snapped away. Enjoy!


Do you see a dog in this photo??












Yes, sadly this sail boat washed ashore. It still had plates, etc on the inside 🙁



As Kenny Chesney’s song “It’s That Time of Day” says ……(of course we’re in Antigua not BVI)

It’s that time of day
That we all knew would come
To pay for all the rum
And pull up anchor cause we’re done
It’s that time of day
I see a cotton candy sky
So many colors in my eyes
Proof again God’s aliveThis ain’t a goodbye
It’s a “till I see you again”
What a wonderful time
We’ve all shared my friends
Another day at sea
Has come and gone away
So adios to Jost
Adios to Jost
Adios to Jost
It’s that time of day

Thanks for following our blog! The Seattle Boat Show is this weekend, there will be a new update on that soon, along with a “new reads” blog. Stay tuned!


Antigua Part 3

tourist spot antigua

Antigua Eco Excursion

We love Antigua eco excursions! When we booked our trip to Antigua, we knew we didn’t want to spend everyday sitting by the pool. Since our life long goal is to end up in the Caribbean splashing in the waters, we wanted to have a few water excursions. We had another circumnavigation tour booked on a very very large power cat for the middle of the week, but it got cancelled. In some ways, we were relieved after we saw how many people were crammed on it. We had just done the Xtreme tour around the island on Monday, so we really didn’t need another.


On Friday, we had booked another tour with Adventures Antigua , called the “Eco Tour”. This boat was a bit bigger than the extreme, but much smoother. It held again about 20 people. The boat had two 250 hp engines with a turbo booster.

This tour began at the cruise docks and headed north to Long Island and then to Hell’s Gate.

Long Island is the only island that has residents on it (of the 22 small islands surrounding it). It is very very exclusive  and has a high end resort on it called Jumby Bay. We were told that rooms run $8000-$15,000 per night and are used primarily for celebrities. No we didn’t see Mariah or J Lo. In fact, it looked a bit sleepy.

Mangroves of Antigua

From Long Island, we went to see an island, completely made up of mangrove trees. Mangroves are key to the sea life, as many live in and around their root system for protection. China purchased the island below, but locals protested and insisted the island remain untouched or developed. Supposedly, they have agreed.



From here we went to Rabbit Island and ironically, there are no rabbits on the island, only birds – lots of them! The entire hillside was covered with pelicans.


Hells Gate Island

From here we went to one of the main attractions – Hells Gate Island. This small piece of land is located between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It also has a cave that you climb up to and through and come out on the Atlantic side.

Video of Hells Gate Island

Facing the Caribbean side






Down below is where the Atlantic meets the Caribbean. You COULD swim to the other side via an underwater cave…but who would do that?!! Instead, we climbed back up towards the guy in the orange shorts to get on top of the island.

Now on top of the island



The rocks are limestone and extremely jagged. You had to be very careful, finding the perfect “step” and “handle” to climb up into the cave and then go carefully back down. Here’s where you can put one foot on the Atlantic side and the other on the Caribbean side, but the water was gushing so hard, all I wanted to do was get out of there! We then swam back to the boat and off to Bird Island for lunch.

Bird Island Tour

Bird Island has a short hike to the top of the island to give you great vistas. It also is home to the The Antiguan racer (Alsophis antiguae)  which is a harmless rear-fanged (opisthoglyphous) grey-brown snake that was until recently found only on Great Bird Island off the coast of Antigua, in the Eastern Caribbean. It is among the rarest snakes in the world. Ironically, one crossed our path on our hike!!




Facing the Atlantic Ocean

Turned around and now this is the Caribbean Sea

We finished the day snorkeling just a few yards away from Bird Island (about where you see that island in the background).

The boat then returned back to the Cruise terminal to drop us all off. It was such a fun day and again, I highly recommend

Stay tuned for Part 4, a collection of fun beach photos!


Antigua Part 2 (land based tour)

atlantic & caribbean ocean view

Antigua Land Tour

Taking an Antigua Land Tour. Our blog is primarily all about boating and boating and more boating. But there was so much to see and do in Antigua, that I wanted to share what we did on land. All boaters have to disembark some time, so here’s what we did on Antigua.

In my previous blog, I shared the photos of Nelson Dockyard, which we saw both by boat and on foot. We did a land tour with a cab driver named “Wall”, which Sandals arranged for us.  Our first stop was Jolly Harbor. We knew it had some condos on the canal and beach and wondered what it looked like. So that was our first stop.

We took a few photos on the beach and also with Wall before heading off to our next stop.




From there we drove south towards Falmouth Harbor and onto English Harbor. Follow the yellow line on the map from Jolly Harbor .


Nelson’s Dockyard

We did the full tour of Nelson’s Dockyard with a guide (see photos in previous blog). The buildings are still all original as they were in the 1700’s.  From there we went up to Fort Shirley, where there is a museum (and quick history movie) and Admiral Nelson’s former home. From the vantage point, the British could watch out from all directions for intruders.

This view is overlooking the Caribbean and Nelson’s dockyard down below.




This is one of the fort buildings.

This is what is left of Admiral Nelson’s home.


This view is behind his home, facing the Atlantic Ocean.


This is the view from the 2nd floor of his home, again overlooking English Harbor.

Just down the road from Fort Shirley, is Lookout Point. The views here were absolutely stunning. To give you an idea of where we were, here’s a map. Look out point overlooks both the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea.


A closeup view of the “hook” you will see a house on top. That belongs to Eric Clapton.

looking towards Africa if you turn left and then South America if you straighten out.

Yes, it was straight down, no fence!


This one was of the original fort buildings still standing at Lookout Point.

Shirley Heights Lookout

From here, we drove down the road to Shirley Heights Lookout. This houses the original Guard House. This spot is famous for it’s sunset party they throw every Sunday with a steel drum band. We didn’t make the party (so we didn’t take this photo), but you get the idea.

Instead, we took in the views and enjoyed the scenery. Photos don’t do it justice – so make time to go visit this famous site!



Again, looking down on English Harbor and Falmouth Harbor


It too, was treacherous on the edge with no fence. Beware.


In all, it was one of the best tours we’ve taken! There is so much history on Antigua dating back to the early 1700’s. You won’t regret visiting the sights of this island!  Part 3 coming soon!

Antigua Part 1

English Harbor Caribbean Island

Antigua Boating Excursion

Scott and I arrived in Saint John’s, Antigua on Friday January 15, 2016, for a 10 day stay. This was our 3rd visit to the island and was one of the best vacations we have ever had.   The following day, we found out that the weather earlier in the week was rainy and cloudy, but we had nothing but sunshine our entire stay.  We stayed at Sandals Resort and the first few days, we simply relaxed by the pool and went sailing on the Hobie Cat.


Then on Monday, we had our first boating excursion with Antigua Adventures on their “Adventure Xtreme Antigua” boat, which went around the entire island. This took us from the Caribbean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean and back to the Caribbean. It had three 250 hp Yamaha engines on it, so it was fast! We stopped many times for different activities.  This was one of our favorite trips we’ve taken and the crew Sean, Trevis and David were fantastic!

We started at the north end of the island at Dickenson’s Bay and stopped at Long Island for a quick history lesson. There are a number of small islands between reefs that line the northern eastern part of the island.

First stop was Hell’s Gate (more on that for our next excursion).

Then we stopped at Sting Ray city, which is southwest from Hells Gate.

We were not in the waist high section, but almost neck deep (for those of us only 5′ 3″). Figures our GoPro HERO5 Camera  had a dead battery and we didn’t know it, since it’s new to us.  The key was to shuffle your feet in the sand, so they knew you were present. They would then swim past you touching your legs. I admit, it was a bit weird and creepy, yet cool. Friends we met, Tony & Nicole took a bunch of photos with their Go Pro, so once they send us some, we’ll post some photos. Instead, this is what I took from the boat.



Then the folks at Sting Ray City also took photos of each of the guests holding a sting ray.

From here we traveled to a small island and had a wonderful lunch with great views of some catamarans anchored in the bay.




This cat had a cute german shepherd on board, but I couldn’t get it in the photo

After lunch to traveled south to Nelson’s Dockyard, located on the south end of the island in English Harbor. First we passed by Eric Clapton’s home, situated up on the cliff’s of the island. I will tell you that the swells were very large as we turned the south east corner of the island. Luckily our boat was fast, but it certainly went up and down, getting through them.



Nelson’s Dockyard still has all of the original buildings and now houses many large yachts. According to Wikipedia, English Harbour quickly became a focal point for the establishment of a naval base in Antigua. Its position on the south side of the island meant it was well positioned to monitor the neighboring French island of Guadeloupe. Additionally, the harbour is naturally well-suited to protect ships and cargo from hurricanes. The first reference to the defense of English Harbour occurs in 1704 when Fort Berkeley was listed as one of the twenty forts established around the coast of Antigua. By 1707 naval ships used English Harbour as a station, but no facilities had yet been built for ship maintenance or repair. By 1723 English Harbour was in regular use by British naval ships.



(The following land based photos were taken on our land tour with our guide a few days later).







From Nelson’s Dockyard, we snorkeled at the Pillar’s of Hercules just outside of the harbor.
From here, we stopped at Rendezvous Bay, to relax and enjoy some rum punch!



We then made the journey back north towards our resort, but first stopping at Saint John’s where the cruise ships are located, dropping off some passengers. Wouldn’t want to run into one of these in the middle of the night in the ocean!!



In the end, it was a fantastic day! Small group (about 18 of us or so) and a great crew! I would definitely recommend it! Check them out on
Part 2 will feature our Eco Adventure with this same company, coming soon!

Caribbean Bound!

We are headed to Antigua in a few days! Antigua is one of our favorite Caribbean islands. We first visited it during our honeymoon in 2003 and then returned five years ago in 2011. On our last trip we circumnavigated the island, which takes you from the Caribbean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. That transition is significant and the swells were about 4′ high. But we loved it so much, that we have booked two excursions for this trip.

One of the excursions, includes swimming with the stingrays! I’m both nervous and excited about that. Then we are also doing an “Eco Adventure” to learn about the island and also go caving. That’s what the Caribbean is all about…island time and learning about their nature.
Anytime we go on vacation, I’m watching the weather forecast like a hawk……I admit, I’m addicted to weather!  I have six weather apps on my phone and I tend to check them a few times a day.  Here’s the forecast for Antigua from one of my favorite site, Perfect weather, if you ask me! We’ll be there for 10 days, so it’s great to see sun on the forecast for everyday!

Another favorite site, is and they say the same thing:
Since we’ll have so much time to relax and lay by the pool, I’m bringing 4 of my books about living on board in the Caribbean. There’s no better place than that, to really get the feel of the story.  Stay tuned for lots of photos! Bon voyage!