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  • Writer's pictureSailing Koinonia

S/V Koinonia Weekly Sailing Log - Christmas in Jolly Harbour (Wed Dec 20th - Tue Dec 26th, 2023)

Highlights this week: we spend one last day in Deshaies, Guadeloupe, then sail to Antigua; Lizzy gets a mystery illness but gets better after a round of antibiotics; Christmas in Jolly Harbour, Antigua; enjoying beach days and a new-to-us island; exploring downtown St John’s.


Wed Dec 20 - regular school and trading day; very light wind but cool temps today in the mid to upper 70s.  Went ashore to grab some final provisions before departing from Guadeloupe.  Bought a nice pineapple which was quickly devoured. Amber made a yummy beef stroganoff for dinner.  Started Lizzy on antibiotics.  Downright chilly tonight at 67 degrees.


Thu Dec 21 - regular school and trading day; went ashore around 9:30 to send some mail, top up jerry cans on gasoline, and clear out of Guadeloupe. Also purchased some gifts for Amber in secret.  Leftovers for lunch.  Ben is testing an additional trading strategy that was profitable on all the stocks he traded, at least today.  Unfortunately, Lizzy appears to be having an allergic reaction to the Amoxicillin, so gave her Benadryl.  Washed a load of clothes on the boat and prepared to get underway first thing tomorrow morning.


Fri Dec 22 - departed from Deshaies at 6am; conditions offshore were excellent, an enjoyable 7-hour sail almost due North (magnetic). Trolled the whole passage but no action and no signs of life, other than a handful of flying fish. Sadly, we lost our bowling pin teaser, so Ben will have to replace it or make a new one out of wood or PVC.  Dropped anchor in Mosquito Cove, Jolly Harbour, Antigua at 2pm.  Beautiful water but a bit milky.  Lizzy finally seems to be feeling better!  Ben went ashore to clear in and was done in an hour; cost was $85 EC/ $35 US.  Showers, dinner, and then watched the newest “Hunger Games” movie as an early Christmas present.


Sat Dec 23 - slept in a bit then woke up and got everyone ready to go ashore for a day of exploring. Took a ride on a public bus (van) to downtown St. John’s where we spent a fair amount of time just trying to find a working ATM; then we had lunch at a local restaurant after striking out trying to eat pizza at Big Banana. Went to the central market and bought lots of fresh veggies, herbs, and fruit for cheap.  We rode the bus back to Jolly Harbor and stopped in the grocery store to purchase Christmas treats and foods we haven’t seen in a while.

Sun Dec 24 - slow morning; we actually forgot what day of the week it was and missed our normal morning of worship; had a simple lunch then spent the afternoon at the beach, where we met some friendly locals (British ex-pats). Stopped to chat with some boat neighbors, David and Jennifer, and ended up hanging out on their boat until after sundown. Once back at our boat, Aliza and our boat neighbor Jennifer took turns playing Christmas songs loudly via outdoor speakers. Aliza said, “Mama, play ‘Santa Baby’ because that one’s sassy like me.” Ben made cilantro lime grilled chicken thighs, homemade guacamole, and Puerto Rican beans and rice for dinner.  Watched “Elf.”


Mon Dec 25 - Christmas Day. Aliza was the first awake and, once everyone was up, we started opening presents and stockings; Ben made homemade cinnamon rolls. Ate leftovers for lunch then went to the beach for the afternoon. Played some beach tennis and collected lots of nice shells and a few pieces of sea glass.  Made water, then changed both pre-filters.  Ben cooked a Christmas ham on the grill that we bought in Martinique for dinner.  Amber made Christmas ginger cookies for dessert.  Watched “The Nativity Story.”


Tue Dec 26th - trading day; market was a little light on volume today but had a good “green” day.  Amber made espresso and frothed milk served in our new espresso cups. Spent most of the day taking down sections of the headliner on “Koinonia” trying to track down an electrical issue with our starboard side cabin lights. Went ashore in the afternoon but most places were closed for “Boxing Day” but “Epicurious,” a nice but pricey grocery store close walking distance from the dinghy dock, was open. Ben made a butternut squash risotto for dinner.  We also drank some sorrel; a drink made at Christmas time in the Caribbean and spiced with cinnamon, fresh ginger, and pimentos (allspice). Continued checking weather and sea state; a Friday departure to St Martin still looks good.


God Bless,

S/V Koinonia

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