Monday, January 31, 2011

Antigua January 30


We are along the dock first thing and we don’t have to be at our meeting place until 9:50 so we have time which is nice as it is always enjoyable to watch the ship come along the pier and tie up. It is already very hot. We slather on the sunscreen 50 spf in areas, 30 in others.

a little fixer upper

We booked with Eli's Eco Tours, here is a link and we were met promptly at 9:50 and they took us out of the harbor then along the island at high speeds, it was GREAT. We love being on the water. There were 25 of us on the boat but it didn’t feel crowded and there were numerous cruise critic people so we already knew each other.

Doesn't Anita look lovely

The crew were very helpful telling us about the island, pointing out sights and islands and talking about various wildlife. We docked at bird island where we were given time to swim, stay on the boat or climb up to the look out. We decided to climb up to the look out, and it was an easy hike but you do need good shoes. The views up on top were beautiful and we got lots of time to take pictures. After returning to the boat we swam for a while and enjoyed the beach for about 20 minutes.


Antigua's Flag

the view from the look out


We drop anchor around the bend were we are treated to a delightful lunch of salad, pasta salad, plantains and barbecued chicken with banana bread for dessert.

After lunch we travel to Hell’s Gate where we are once again given the option of snorkeling, climbing the rocks, swimming or relaxing on board the boat. Bernie snorkels and I decide to climb up on Hell’s Gate. You definitely need good shoes, flip flops will not do and you have to be prepared to get whatever you wear wet. The rocks and climbing are very difficult to manage but can be done, but be warned the edges are sharp and footing can be touchy, but the caves and views are stunning and worth it. But I did cut my foot and someone else cut her leg on the rocks. Bernie said the snorkeling was good but not great.  The crew did not offer any type of first aid not even a bandaid.

next stop at Hell's Gate we walk thru the caves and climb up

very sharp stones, quite difficult

the views are amazing

Our next stop was a snorkel stop where we could snorkel around the boat or head off with Nicole. I decided to head off with Nicole but have to say it was hard to keep up with her, thankfully I am a strong swimmer and managed but it seemed like we were in a constant race to keep up with her and we didn’t get to really enjoy the sea life. A friend that was with us had a medical emergency while swiming here and thankfully I noticed otherwise he stated he was just about ready to give up and sink (ended up in the end he had surgery to removed a blocked valve in his heart in Barbados two days later).  The guide Niki was so far away we had to call her back and then me and her brought our friend back to the boat (which was quite a ways away).  There was no way to contact the boat to get them to come to us and once on board they had no oxygen to assist my friend. 

We did see a manta ray as soon as we got in the water. Check out the picture.

can you see the stingray?

We are disappointed in the tour and unfortunately can't say that I would recommend Eli's Eco tour, mainly because the snorkel stop was not very good and the issue with a f
We were back at the pier around 3:50 and Bernie went into the Exotic Antigua store right there to pick up some Tommy Bahamas shirts at a very good price.

We headed up to the Captain’s Cocktail Party for the Most Travelled Passengers and this time we didn’t eat dinner before hand so we could enjoy the finger foods. It was nice to sit and chat with so many others and many of the officers.

After the party we went to Café Caribe to enjoy a small dinner (last night was Italian night) and it was yummy.

Vines was our next stop where even more wine was consumed with friends and then we caught the TV Multi Media Trivia already in progress but had fun trying to get the answers. It is now 11:00 pm and we are both in need of sleep. Tomorrow St. Lucia, and no plans.
this is where we stopped the first time, beautiful beach, but we stayed on the boat

Yvonne & Bernie

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