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Appreciating My Own Homeland

Inspired by posts about local travel by other travel bloggers such as Bama, I decided to show my readers one of my most beloved areas of Antigua. The Village of English Harbour is a well established port, mostly entertaining yachts from all over the world. Some days, I simply bring my laptop or a novel to my favourite cafe in the village and watch the world go by. Introducing my ‘Spot’: The Skullduggery Cafe!

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As the name suggests, this is a cafe that’s mostly frequented by sailors, located in the heart of the Antigua Yacht Club Marina. I spent quite a bit of the last week here simply writing for this site. The atmosphere is really relaxing during the day until about 4pm when the sailors are finished working and make their way to the watering hole.

 Location

This is one of the high points of Skullduggery Cafe. It’s situated right on the dock of the marina, literally four steps from falling off the pier. Thankfully the water is really shallow, like only two feet deep, for anyone concerned about the safety of little children.

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Nearby, lots of private yachts are moored, and due to the fact that Antigua has one of the most popular harbours in the Caribbean, you may see several super yachts such as one belonging to Bill Gates. The area is very peaceful, and many visitors go to the cafe with a book in hand to just simply kick back and relax.

 Dining

Several tables and chairs are scattered about just outside of the establishment, and each table seats four guests comfortably. The cafe has both a breakfast and a lunch menu available for guests who want to grab a bite. Breakfast items include two eggs prepared in any style for $6 USD and a number of sides are available for an extra cost: Fried tomatoes, ham, bacon and toast. Pancakes are prepared on request for $3 USD as well as fruits and bagels.

I usually arrive at the cafe around lunch time, so I end up always ordering from the afternoon menu.

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Pastas are available for around $10 USD, and their Philly Steak sandwich for $7 is a great choice. However my favourite dish is their Toasted Ham, Cheese, Tomato and Onion sandwich for $4. The melted cheddar cheese creates a really zesty flavour when combined with the tomato and onions!

 Drinks

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The cafe also serves as a bar, with a large selection of liquors on their shelves. The bartenders serve the usual suspects such as Screwdrivers and Mojitos, but the Espresso Martinis and the Cappuchino Martinis are the house specialties. The concoction is made right infront of the customer, and the brew is then poured directly into a martini glass. Expect to pay about $6 US for the martini.

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Cold soft drinks such as Mountain Dew and Coca Cola can be bought, as well as hot beverages such as coffee and tea.

 Summary

While the food and beverages are really good here, the main draw is the view and the ambience. The establishment is really laid back, and even pets are allowed to roam freely. On my last visit, a very friendly Bull Mastiff walked about, receiving many pats and scatches behind the ear from all of the guests, while his owner drank a Carib beer nearby.

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Skullduggery Cafe is where I go to relax after a hectic day, and I hope you can see why I’m one of their favourite customers! In order to appreciate international travel, sometimes you need to start by looking a little closer to home!

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Across The Caribbean Sea!

After returning home, there was no way I could keep still after being on the road for so long. I was very restless for the first couple of days, then one of my Couchsurfing friends from Hungary (who lives in Antigua) gave me a great opportunity. I got a sweet deal to sail from Antigua to St. Maarten on a 40 foot Beneateau yacht!

I’ve never been sailing before, so of course I agreed to go! My friend Vonia was interested in doing a bit of shopping in St. Maarten, so she asked to come along as well. We only had to pay $180 each, and who knows if I would ever get to sail for such a cheap price again in the near future? I only had 3 days notice so I had a bit of preparations to do. Seasick pills would have to be bought, stock up on my favourite candy and pack enough layers to beat the cold winds in the open Caribbean Sea.

Before I knew it, the day had arrived! I met the crew: Captain Harry from England, Serg from Antigua who was doing a RYA Sailing course and a volunteer sailor from Europe. They were all pretty cool guys and they did an excellent job in getting us across the Caribbean Sea to St. Maarten. It was smooth sailing, and no one was sick. I was even allowed to steer the yacht for a bit!

Immigration took their sweet time with stamping our passports, but eventually we were in! Here are some photos from the trip:

My friend, Vonia

Captain Harry