Antigua Part 1

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!