Have to admit, we had a mixed week in Antigua. And now I’m in list mode, I’m stuck in list mode. Typical. So, again with no further ado, here goes. Our week in Antigua:
- Ellie arrived! She is all well and settling in. For this reason alone, Antigua served us well.
- Lulu got sick. Not so good. She started antibiotics on Wednesday. Luckily, it’s been enough to keep her ear infection perforation-free. In fairness too, this wasn’t Antigua’s fault. Ear started rumbling a couple of weeks ago.
- We found a shop in St John’s, the capital, which sells good-quality movies. Run by Doc, we haven’t seen anything like this. Mostly, we tend to buy movies from street vendors. Doc in comparison, has a library of movies. We thought the whole world might have converted to Netflix. Not according to Doc.
- We had the toilet fixed. Wayne the electrician came aboard at the working dock in Jolly Harbour Boat Yard. Wayne was tall, wore brown overalls and had a geeky, kindly look. He noticed Lulu was in bed at 11am. ‘Do you have any onions?’ he asked me. I nodded. He said, ‘Cut one up and warm it in the pan. Then make her lie on it with it on her sore ear. I used to have ear infections all the time. Eventually someone told me to do this and I haven’t had one since.’ I nodded again. Didn’t sound like a bad idea. ‘Sucks the poison out,’ he continued. So, while the toilet was being fixed, Lulu lay on an onion. The toilet is fixed now.
- Still wondering why a box of 12 Fererro Rocher costs almost 8 quid in Epicurean supermarket in Antigua when they cost half that in the French islands? Antigua and Guadeloupe being right next to each other. And how come coral island Antigua looks like paradise compared to the French islands when you stand on its white sand beaches, yet it’s an understatement to say that walking from the bus stop to the centre of St John’s is a pavement-based obstacle course? With water gullies thrown in.
- On that note, we checked out on Friday morning. It was going well – Antigua has a computerised clearance system and remembered us from almost three years ago. The last thing was getting the customs forms stamped. ‘That’ll be $150EC,’ the customs man said. He wasn’t even really looking at me. He was watching a video of South Park. ‘Pardon?’ I spluttered. That was almost 50 quid. We’ve never paid that much to either leave or enter an island, certainly one that we stayed in for less than a week. He looked up. ‘It’s because you have two children under 18 years old. They’re considered passengers, not crew. Passengers pay $75EC each.’ I frowned. ‘Surely charging for passengers is a business tax for charter companies and super yachts? Why are you penalising cruisers with kids? Children are expensive enough.’ He nodded in reply. We still had to pay.
- Our Antigua ensign ripped on the way to Guadeloupe. Have to say – felt like a done deal.