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'Fishy Tales' - A few days off in Antigua

 

Having completed a personality profile at work recently, as part of our on going quest for excellence at Sailing Logic, I decided to take note of what was said and take action!  What stood out for me most was under the heading ‘Philippe is motivated by.’  The profile then suggested, “take regular holidays and time off to pursue other interest and adventures!”

 

So four days after receiving the advice I was on a British Airways Boeing 777 destined for Antigua!  Taking these things very seriously I decided to make the most of my first few days in Antigua and after spending the first day working I was jumping off the back of a dive boat in a bay just outside Falmouth Harbour.

 

What an amazing experience it was to become.  Whilst in Antigua I set myself the goal of gaining my PADI Open Water certificate.  After the classroom session and relatively boring confined water sessions it was time to venture into the magnificent wilderness underneath the surface that I have spent hundreds of thousands of miles on.

 

I was not really prepared for what was to come as I spent two sessions under water with my Swiss instructor in a wilderness that was nothing short of breathtaking.  In the hour and a half that I was under water I marvelled at the sight of a relatively rare Eagle Ray, was humbled by the sight of two sharks, became fascinated by a puffa fish and glared at a rather large lobster with beady eyes!  This was in addition to the hundreds of other colourful fishes of varying shapes and sizes, including two barracuda and an angelfish.  What an introduction the deep blue!

 

Day two gave us a great opportunity to watch the magnificent J Class yachts battle it out on the race course on the final day of the Antigua Classic Regatta.  What a sight that was!  Nothing short of spectacular, and witnessing those magnificent craft power through the fleet of dozens of classic yachts was quite exhilarating, but admittedly left me yearning to be on board!

 

Then it was time to go fishing off the back of Hydrocarbon.  I looked on slightly sceptically as Mark prepared his two rods and lures in his bid to land us a delicious supper.  After three hours of sailing from the coast of Antigua the reel starting spinning out fast and Mark spent the next minute wrestling a rather yummie looking tuna back to the boat.  Supper was eaten within an hour and we returned to our mooring in English harbour shortly after sunset with big smiles of satisfaction on our faces.  

 

Next was a visit to the gym – it is only four weeks until our first offshore so I need to work hard on the fitness.  Now I am spending the evening preparing for the PADI exam as my mind drifts to the thought of two more open water dives. Now what will those have in stall for me?  I would love to swim with a stingray and possibly another shark!  This time I promise I will not be crapping myself though!

 

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