By way of introduction, I'm not shy, but I don’t compete with Dani for the spotlight. She's much quicker to say what's on her mind than I am. Well, most of the time, she is. When it comes to talking about guys, she's pretty reticent. But we've already dealt with that, at least for now. Thanks for your comments a couple of weeks ago. You encouraged her to talk that over with me.
I grew up in Belgium, and I thought I was well-traveled until I found these Caribbean islands. I attended a boarding school in the U.K. and studied for my undergraduate and graduate degrees in France. Along the way, I saw most of Europe. I finished my education and took a job in Brussels for a couple of years. After my father’s death, I was at loose ends with a small inheritance, so I took a sabbatical and flew to Guadeloupe, in the French West Indies. I spent several weeks on some beautiful beaches and decided that I would stay in the islands.
The story of how that came to be is in Bluewater Killer and Bluewater Vengeance. In hindsight, that was a scary experience, but at the time it just seemed strange. That's another story; the good part was that I met Dani at a time when we were both trying to figure out what to do next, and we bought Vengeance. Life has been grand ever since.
Enough about me. I'll start our tour in Antigua, which is featured in several of the Bluewater Thrillers. Until its independence in 1981, Antigua was a British colony. The French held the island for a brief period in 1666, but unlike a lot of the islands that alternated between French and British rule, Antigua didn’t get passed back and forth. There was a British naval base in English Harbour from the early 1700s until it was abandoned in 1889. Nelson’s Dockyard, as it’s called, is now a national park, and it is the center of a lot of yachting activities.
This shot of English Harbour was taken from the guard post at the harbour entrance. When you stand where the photographer was, it's easy to imagine the anchorage filled with 18th century British warships.
Another place in Antigua that’s mentioned in the books is Jolly Harbour, where we often have Vengeance on a mooring. We like to have sundowners in the cockpit with our guests there. Here’s a typical sunset:
I hear Dani putting the lid on the varnish can; it’s time for cocktails. I’ll be back to share more photographs and perhaps a few of my sketches. Let me know if there’s a particular place you would like to see.