Antigua to Montserrat

Antigua and Montserrat, 22 September 2016

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Aerial Photography, Antigua, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Redonda, seascape, Travel

So here we are, on a tiny plane, I think the only passengers on a flight from Antigua to Montserrat.

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Aerial Photography, Antigua, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Redonda, seascape, Travel

Just taking off, we are looking through at some small wharves at the north end of Winthorpe’s Bay.

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Aerial Photography, Antigua, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Redonda, seascape, Travel

We would have taken off ENE but our heading is SW, so we’ve turned around and you can see a minor branch of the runway and the big building is probably a hangar for light aircraft.

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Aerial Photography, Antigua, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Redonda, seascape, Travel

Nearby in Fitches Creek Bay, we see some seaside mansions and St George’s Anglican Church is amongst the trees at mid left.

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Aerial Photography, Antigua, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Redonda, seascape, Travel

On the other side of the island, this is Jolly Harbour and Pearn’s Point.

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Aerial Photography, Antigua, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Redonda, seascape, Travel

On the way, we get a glimpse of Redonda, a small hunk of rock owned by Antigua but located between Montserrat and Nevis.  It is difficult to land on and has no natural sources of water.  In the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries it was a refuge for pirates and from 1860 to 1914, people lived on it, mining guano.  There is a spurious monarchy of Redonda associated with it, though with only a tenuous association with the island.  The island has been recently cleared of long-horned goats (probably left by pirates) and black rats, which had stripped it bare.  Vegetation is now returning and the population of boobies and frigate birds is greatly increasing.  Redonda is also home to five endemic lizards that are unique to that island.  They include the Redonda ground dragon, Redonda tree lizard and the Redonda pygmy gecko that was only discovered in 2012.  Not surprisingly, we didn’t visit there.

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Aerial Photography, Antigua, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Redonda, seascape, Travel

Now we are approaching Montserrat.  This is the north and east coast.

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Aerial Photography, Antigua, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Redonda, seascape, Travel

In the background is the infamous volcano that erupted with great force in 1995, 1997 and 2010.  You can see where a recent lava shelf extended into the sea.

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Aerial Photography, Antigua, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Redonda, seascape, Travel

Coming along the west coast now, from the north.

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Aerial Photography, Antigua, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Redonda, seascape, Travel .

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Aerial Photography, Antigua, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Redonda, seascape, Travel

… and coming in to land at the airport.

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Aerial Photography, Antigua, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Redonda, seascape, Travel

We were met by our hosts and driven to our accommodation.

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Aerial Photography, Antigua, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Redonda, seascape, Travel

We must have taken a detour on a northerly road for this view down the east coast of the island.  You can see that same lava shelf in the distance.

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Aerial Photography, Antigua, Landscape, Montserrat, Nature, Photography, Redonda, seascape, Travel

Sunset from our balcony.

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