Wednesday, January 22, 2014

English Harbour, Antigua

Chris entering the spiked gates of Nelson's Dockyard
Of course, now Chris wants a figurehead on Mr Mac
When we previously visited Antigua, we were on the northern end of the island. This time, we specifically checked in at English Harbour, on the south coast, so we could visit Nelson’s Dockyard. We were already in the mood, having just listened to the 14th book in the Patrick O’Brian nautical fiction series about the British navy during the Napoleonic War era. (The books are terrific, but the audiobooks narrated by Patrick Tull are even better!) I also just finished reading a biography of Nelson who, despite his naval achievements, seemed to have been a bit of a dick when it came to being unfaithful to his wife and flaunting his relationship with his mistress. Although the name was only adopted in the 1950s, Nelson did actually serve here from 1784-1787. Anyway, they’ve beautifully restored many of the buildings. Customs, immigration, and the port authority occupy one long, low building. Others house shops, a small grocery and coffee shop, and restaurants. The Admiral’s Inn, along with its restaurant and pretty grounds, is tucked behind brick walls, overlooking the harbor. Along with a newer wooden dock, a stone wharf edges the little peninsula on which the dockyard sits, with mega- and not-so-mega-but-still-beautiful yachts docked stern-to. There’s also a museum chock full of historical info. It was nice to walk around and picture how it must have looked when square-rigged warships were anchored in the harbor.

Seating outside the building where you clear in
Formerly the kitchen, currently a bakery

Pretty restored building turned restaurant
Oh, just think of the money wrapped up in these megayachts!