We are currently (and aptly) moored in Nelson’s Dockyard, Antigua, with an assortment of vessels; small family-owned yachts, charter catamarans, very large motor vessels and some huge super-yachts whose masts dwarf Nellie’s. The setting is spectacular as the harbour is almost landlocked, being approached through a narrow entrance past Fort Berkeley to port and Shirley Heights towering above to starboard with Galleon beach below it. The buildings from Nelson’s time have all been restored with the former Copper and Lumber store now an expensive hotel, the original bakery building still producing baked goods and many others housing businesses to serve us sailors; cafes, inns and sail-makers. It is like living in a working museum with Nellie one of the main attractions.
We are however, doing some work whilst we are here, honest; sanding and varnishing of the chartroom doors, painting of scuppers and radiators to name but a few, the engineers meanwhile seem to be dis-assembling various bits of equipment. I am gently broiling in the chartroom doing chart corrections, escaping to clean the DOTI boats when it becomes too hot.
Last night we had a buffet on the bridge. BM Sarah introduced us to the German tradition of ‘feuerzangenbowle’, the melting of a cone of sugar with flaming rum over a bowl of red wine containing spices and citrus fruit, followed naturally, by the drinking of the product. At midnight 8 bells were sounded by Albert, our oldest crew member, to see out the old year and Lali, our youngest, sounded in the New. We then greeted the New Year with a glass of fizz as fireworks exploded from Fort Berkeley. A wonderful way to spend New Year’s Eve.
From all aboard Nellie we would like to wish you, our friends and family, a very Happy New Year.
Lesley, Second Mate.