Mar 30 - English Harbour, Antigua

Pos: N17deg00.20min / W061deg45.66min. We left at 0600 and motorsailed for about an hour until clear of the Kahounne Islands. Wind filled E-ENE 20-25 knots, gusts to 30, seas were mostly ENE 6'-8' and we plowed along at 7.5-8.4 knots under single reefed main, staysail, and about 1/2 the Yankee out. The autopilot did its great job, and we enjoyed the morning. That is, until about 5 miles out of English Harbour when we ran over an unmarked, and probably illegal, long line fishing net. It had no floats but was obviously weighted down. The 1/4" polypropylene line snagged our old lower bobstay fitting, and collapsed in a sharp "V" around us, as we were going so fast it was impossible to turn or slow down the boat and it was just as impossible to see the line beforehand in those conditions. We furled the jib, which slowed us down to about 5.5 knots, and I grabbed a sharp knife and boat hook. Fortunately, I was just able to lift the line high enough amidships for Sue to stretch over and cut it; we watched both ends stream quickly away. No harm, except I suspect our bottom paint suffered a bit. Dodged another bullet; a fin keeled yacht would probably have had more drama. About an hour later, we anchored in English Harbour, anxious to begin our adventures in this historic island. We organized the boat, launched the dinghy, and I went in to clear Customs and Immigration. They're very particular here, and don't want anyone except the captain of the vessel to leave the boat before formal entry requirements have been taken are of. That done, the Q-flag is down, and we're relaxing in the cockpit.
Pic: The entrance to English Harbor and our anchorage in Freeman's Bay, taken from Fort Berkley

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