Thursday, February 2, 2012

St. Jame's Club, Mamora Bay, Antigua

Indian Creek on Antigua's south coast
We continued our harbor-hopping this week, and explored a tiny bit further along the coast of Antigua. Despite the more-than-brisk winds and the 5’-7’ swells on the nose, we made our way east from Falmouth, staying fairly close to the coast to take advantage of the protection it provided. We explored Indian Creek on our way, enjoying the sight of Eric Clapton’s mansion on the hilltop of Standfast Point! A long complex of gorgeous buildings, adjoining terraces and outdoor dining/living areas, it’s  built of native rock and wood, all overlooking the ocean with views to the southeast of Montserrat and Guadeloupe. Ron joked about stopping to ask “if Eric could come out and play”… but figured he probably wasn’t home!

Eric Clapton's mansion on 45 acres overlooking the ocean
We decided we’d best find an anchorage before the winds picked up, so made our way up the short length of the creek to the small, pond-like area at its head. While rugged and stunning, Indian Creek is a rather tight anchorage for a boat of our size and we found the holding wasn’t the best either -- an extremely muddy and soft bottom that our anchor slithered through, rather than settled into. (Rather odd!) Without a lot of swinging room or room for error, we opted to haul anchor and continue east a bit further.
So…we moved on, making our bouncing way around Standfast Point and through the reef cut into the anchorage at Mamora Bay, anchoring on the west side of the bay, across from the St. Jame’s Club.  The bay has been dredged, and generally provides 10-12' of water in good holding and the hillside shelters the bay from the prevailing trades. Nicely protected, we settled in and started exploring our newest anchorage!
One of Antigua’s oldest established resorts, the St. Jame’s Club is located on a slim peninsula off Isaac Point, with its many buildings situated along the hillside overlooking the harbor and the ocean. Paths wind through the different terraces, with various villas, suites, pools and verandahs tucked in amongst palm trees and lush landscaping. Bougainvillea, azaleas, hibiscus and other tropical flowering bushes are in bloom everywhere….the grounds are quite lovely. The resort has four different resturants, and a number of different beach and pool bars. They actually have two beaches: one harbor-side and another on the ocean facing the fringing reef.
Equinox on anchor in Mamora Bay. The St. Jame's Club
main building is off to the far right.
We explored the grounds and were welcome at the restaurants; a day-pass was available to those anchored in the harbor, which included two meals, all your drinks, access to the pools and beaches, as well as the non-motorized water-sports. Ralph and Mary on Restless Heart joined us for the day, where we shared a lovely breakfast/brunch before enjoying the amenities and ambience on the beach. A good time was had by all!

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