We leave Antigua the next day (2/10). Our flight is in the morning so there is no time to do anything but shower and pack up. On the flight back, we meet a gentleman who just helped crew a boat from the Canary Islands to Antigua. Two days out, their water maker and diesel engine died. They were rationed to one liter of water per person per day and had no autopilot. He didn’t shower for thirty days. Ugh. On the way back, I flip through the inflight magazine. There is an article about whales. The same whales we saw off of Cape Cod, MA are now wintering off the coast of the Dominican Republic. I am so excited! We will be sailing right through their mating and breeding areas on our way to the Bahamas.
We arrive back on St. Thomas at 1:30 pm. Everyone is hungry because we have yet to have a real meal today. We take a taxi to downtown Charlotte Amalie and get lunch. Matt calls the Yamaha dealership and, although the carburetor arrived yesterday afternoon, they have yet to work on it. We take a bus back to the Yamaha dealership, hoping either the dinghy will be fixed or they can loan us one so we can get back to the boat. No luck on either count. We get into our dinghy and fruitlessly try to start the engine. Two of the workers are leaving for the day and watch us pull out the oars. “There’s no way you can paddle all the way out there,” one of them says. “It’s too far and there are 3-foot swells.” I tell him it’s either paddle or swim. They take pity on us and give us a ride. I had no idea a dinghy could go so fast. They offer to pick Matt up in the morning and take him back to shore. We arrive at the boat to realize we are completely out of water. Thankfully, we have four back-up water gallons which will hold us until we can refill the tanks. The next morning Matt goes ashore and arrives back a few hours later with a functioning dinghy. It works better than it has the whole time we’ve owned it. What a relief. In the afternoon, we motor in to the fuel dock at the marina. While Matt fills up water and fuel, the boys and I run to the grocery store and get some provisions. The dockhand says we can leave the boat there while we get a final round of homemade ice cream. It’s late afternoon by the time we get back to the mooring ball. We wash all the dishes that have accumulated and clean up other messes that require water. In the morning, we will head to Culebra.