After spending about a week in the less developed northern parts of Antigua where the kiteboarding was excellent and restaurants non-existent, we sailed to the southern part of Antigua and entered English Harbour. One cannot visit English Harbour without becoming cognizant of it’s importance in the history of Antigua and the surrounding area. The first thing you observe when arriving at the port is Fort Berkeley, which still stands on the western entrance to English Harbour.
Looking out toward the entrance to English Harbour.
The construction of Fort Berkeley began in 1704 and after several additions was completed in 1745. It was a pivotal sentry against attack since the British Navy housed it’s fleet at Nelson’s Dockyard which was landlocked within the harbor. All told, Ft. Berkeley had 29 large cannons. Antigua was considered such an important location that a total of 40 forts were built on it.
A commanding view and position to protect the harbor.
We took time to walk to Ft. Berkeley and follow the trail to some additional, smaller outposts that led all the way to Falmouth Harbour. This sounds like a long walk, and it was hilly, arid and rocky, but the distance is actually not great. You can see in the picture below that there is only a small section of land that separates English and Falmouth Harbours.
English Harbour to the right and Falmouth to the left.
While we enjoyed the views and exercise, Captain kept a close watch for her new nemesis, the goat!
Goats are the only remaining sentries at the forts.
Captain has decided that it is very important to chase any and all goats far from us, so we have to keep her on leash if we know they are around. Unfortunately on this walk, she spotted a goat while off lead….the chase ensued and within seconds Captain and said goat were careening down the side of the hills. We saw Captain still running full out about 200 yards below us and we were not sure what to do. Fortunately her sense of direction is excellent and within a few minutes she came trotting right back to where she had left the trail. Her tail was high and she wore a huge grin, absolutely confident that she had just saved us from a fearsome goat!
You will note Captain is back on leash, but she is vigilantly watching those goats!
I wish it was possible to share the aura and history of Nelson’s Dockyard. The buildings have been beautifully restored and are now used to house restaurants, shops, hotels, art galleries and more. As we walked the cobblestone streets the sense of past spirits was present. Of course, I imagined dashing navel officers and ladies in heavy dresses while Frank’s imagination leaned more toward drunken brawls and pirates!
We would both like to return to English Harbour and learn more about the history as we only touched the surface!
Frank lighting the fuse….. Ummm, this looks like a cartoon about to go wrong!
Knots are important in the life of a sailor.
The calm water and pleasant breeze over the hills made English Harbour the perfect place for us to reline the trampoline on Let It Be. Glad we did as the old line looked worse than expected when we replaced it.