Antigua – Beaches, Boats and Bars


Antigua is said to have 365 beaches, one for every day of the year. Although we did visit a number of beaches, we didn’t try to visit all of them. Our visits tended to be towards the later end of the days and deliberately so. Antigua is a popular stop for cruise liners and there is  a never-ending supply of tour companies willing to ferry cruise passengers to the beaches.

Typically the liners only stop for one day so the passengers only have limited time available to them and since they have to be back on board around four in the afternoon, most of  the beaches generally start to empty by three as the tour guides head back to St Johns.

Jolly Beach is a prime example. As you can see, the beach is jammed solid with tourists, not.

Antigua - Jolly Beach

Antigua – Jolly Beach

On Jolly Beach,as on most Antiguan beaches, you will find the ubiquitous bar/restaurant. In this case it is called Castaways and here we availed ourselves of some well chilled Wadadli beers and a spot of lunch.

Darkwood Beach

Darkwood Beach

Antigua’s beaches are a superb basis for observing sunsets. Darkwood Beach is especially good for this, especially when one can imbibe an ice cool rum punch or partake of a tasty Goat Curry or perhaps the tenderest Jerk Pork Chop.

Antigua - Sunset from Darkwood Beach

Antigua – Sunset from Darkwood Beach

Don’t forget that Rum Punch, Mango Daquiri or perhaps a bog standard G & T, while watching the daily sunset.

Antigua - Coco Beach

Antigua – Coco Beach

The view from Shirley Heights is simply stunning, in all directions.

Antigua - View across Mamora Bay & St James Bay

Antigua – View across Mamora Bay & St James Bay

Antigua - English Harbour & Nelsons Dockyard

Antigua – English Harbour & Nelsons Dockyard

Another quiet beach is West Coast Valley Church Beach, home to The Nest Beach Bar. Again, this is a great place to watch the sun set.

Antigua - West Coast Valley Church Beach

Antigua – West Coast Valley Church Beach

Perhaps I was wrong to call this beach quiet. It was nearly totally devoid of people. However, the folks in The Nest were playing some music, very loud. But that was alright as it was a recording of a reggae based concert which featured a guest appearance by guitarist Carlos Santana.

One word, Superb.

By now, viewing these photographs you must be getting the idea that Antiqua is an awful place to visit. And I will admit that the four of us did mention, regularly, just what a chore it was spending two weeks there.

The bad news is that, during our stay, we failed to observe a truly orange sunset. Which of course means that we may well be forced to go back again and try to capture that classic shot.

Moving briefly away from the beaches, we took a trip down to English Harbour and Nelsons Dockyard. So here are a few more views which include boats

Perhaps most interesting is the  small boat that isn’t in the water.

Antigua - The craft that James "Tiny" Little rowed across the Atlantic

Antigua – The craft that James “Tiny” Little rowed across the Atlantic

James began his journey on 21st January, 2005 from San Sebastian de la Gomera in the Canary Islands and travelled 3,479 to Antigua. His epic journey took 116 days and he arrived on Antigua 17th May, 2005.

The following shows his daily routine which, if my arithmetic is right, means he was rowing for over twelve hours every day.

Antigua - James Littles rowing schedule

Antigua – James Littles rowing schedule

That’s no mean feat especially when he didn’t allow time for a beer. Just reading about it has given me a raging thirst, so here’s a bottle of the local brew.

Wadadli - Antiguan Sunshine In A Bottle

Wadadli – Antiguan Sunshine In A Bottle

And just for good measure, before I sign out, here are a few more snaps from around Antigua’s shores…..

 

On The Water – Swan River Cruise


Today we drove into Perth, had lunch at the Lucky Shag, strolled around Elizabeth Quay and took a cruise down the river to Fremantle.

James Stirling, Captain Cook Cruises, Perth, WA

James Stirling, Captain Cook Cruises, Perth, WA

The following are just some of the photo’s that I took during the cruise.

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West Australian Rowing Club Boat House – Perth, WA

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Seagull

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Wind Surfer, Swan River – Perth WA

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Wind Surfer, Swan River – Perth WA

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Dolphins, Swan River – Perth WA

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Wind Surfer, Swan River – Perth WA

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Wind Surfers, Swan River – Perth WA

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Wind Surfers, Swan River – Perth WA

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Wind Surfers, Swan River – Perth WA

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Wind Surfer, Swan River – Perth WA

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Wind Surfer, Swan River – Perth WA

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Wind Surfer, Swan River – Perth WA

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Tugs Wambiri, Svitzer Falcon & Svitzer Eagle – Fremantle, WA

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MS Astor – Fremantle, WA

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Bulk Carrier SBI Orion – Fremantle, WA

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Container Ship Maersk Gironde – Fremantle, WA

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Unknown – Fremantle, WA

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Fishing Boat , Narrows Bridge – Perth, WA

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Bridge Arches, Elizabeth Quay – Perth, WA

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“Cube” Boat – Perth, WA

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Flotilla Sailing, Swan River – Perth, WA

Up The Swanny


Out of the blue, a phone call from our grandson, and an offer of an evening trip up the Swan River, on Christmas Eve. Being our wedding anniversary, what better way to round off the day. Few details were provided other than that we needed to be present at the East Street Jetty for around 19:00.

Swan River - View upstream from East Street Jetty - Fremantle WA

Swan River – View upstream from East Street Jetty – Fremantle WA

The trip was being provided by my grandsons partner who runs a charter business.

Arriving at the jetty, we soon found other folks, similarly awaiting the arrival of a boat.

While we waited Steve and I started to scout out the area as a possible fishing venue, having already noted the presence of several anglers. After chatting with one guy, who was packing up, we have added the jetty to our list . Easy access with parking very close by and straight into deep water.

It wasn’t long before our transport appeared upstream and was tied alongside ready for boarding.

MV Cygnus - Approaching East Street Jetty, Fremantle, WA

MV Cygnus – Approaching East Street Jetty, Fremantle, WA

MV Cygnus is a fully licensed 53′ Catamaran and is apparently capable of catering for up to 60 people. I think that might be a tight squeeze, however we weren’t that many so had room to meander.

Posh Pads - Swan River, opposite East Street Jetty, Fremantle, WA

Posh Pads – Swan River, opposite East Street Jetty, Fremantle, WA

Shortly after boarding it was time for a little something to moisten dry throats. Make the most of the next photo. It features yours truly which is a rare occurrence as it’s not often that I step in front of a lens.

Gerry and I - Swan River Cruise, WA

Gerry and I – Swan River Cruise, WA

By 19:15 we were underway, heading up river and it was time to point the lens outside of the boat. Having made a similar daytime trip, several years ago, we knew we would see some very nice properties along the river banks. At least while the sun was still up. However, an evening trip was going to be somewhat different.

Fremantle Dinosaurs !!

Fremantle Dinosaurs !!

These cranes, silhouetted by the setting sun, look somewhat like prehistoric creatures heading to the river to drink.

Water Police Base - Fremantle, WA

Water Police Base – Fremantle, WA

My grandson is a member of the Water Police. This picture shows some of their toys. Am I jealous ? , go on, ask me.

Down here in Oz it gets dark very quickly so photography on a moving platform becomes something of a challenge. Here are some “snaps” taken once darkness had arrived.

Swan Canoe Club - Mosman Park, Perth, WA

Swan Canoe Club – Mosman Park, Perth, WA

At some point we tied up to a buoy, so that the hot food could be cooked on the huge BBQ at the stern. We sat swinging at the whims of the river currents and the wind, just offshore from Mosmans Restaurant.

Mosmans Restaurant - Mosman Park, Perth, WA

Mosmans Restaurant – Mosman Park, Perth, WA

The crew laid out quite a spread, with steaks, chicken drummies and prawns cooked on the BBQ, supplemented with a variety of salads and roast vegetables followed by fresh fruits and cheeses.

Food consumed, we were then of further up river until the city came into view. Time for some more snaps but, several beers in, I wasn’t really up for the challenge.

Blame it on the Little Creatures

Blame it on the Little Creatures – That’s my excuse, not sure what theirs is.

Yes, that’s twice I’ve been in front of the lens on one single occasion.

Here is the best of a bad lot …..

Perth City Skyline - Viewed from the Swan River

Perth City Skyline – Viewed from the Swan River

It would have been nice to have cruised right up into the city, but that was as close as we got. Still looks good though.

There was a disco on board and we did get up to dance, a bit. Well that’s perhaps a very loose description of the gyrations I was making. I am pleased to say that there are no photos of that brief interlude.

All too soon we were heading back to the East Street Jetty. Just a short distance, from the jetty, is the Left Bank, bar and restaurant.

The Left Bank - Bar and Restaurant, Fremantle, WA

The Left Bank – Bar and Restaurant, Fremantle, WA

This place, The Left Bank, was having a Xmas Eve party. It started at Noon and was going on till 2 am . From the jetty we could see that they had swarms of hi-viz jacketed security outside. We could hear it from the river as we cruised by. Call me an old fart, but any pub that requires that level of security is not a place I would want to frequent. Having said that we did have a nice early evening meal there a few years back.

So there you have it, our trip up the swanny.

There are many interpretations of the phrase “up the swanny”, including ballsed up, stuck in the mud, tits up, up shit creek, up the creek without a paddle and so forth.

None of these are applicable. We had a great time and our thanks go to Kate and her crew for a super evening.