Recently we enjoyed a nice sail on a close reach heading to Barbuda. With the winds mostly between 14-16 knots apparent apart from a couple squalls we had nearly perfection conditions to sail north to Barbuda for a few days.
We arrived on the western shore and anchored along the 11 mile beach that seems to extend to the horizon. The guidebook suggests it is probably the nicest beach in the entire Caribbean, they just don’t market it for tourism so few know about it and I’d have to concur it is stunning. We were fortunate to get a complete break from the north swells which otherwise can make this a very rolly anchorage and cause crashing surf on the beach which does not lend itself to landing a dinghy.
Behind the beach is a shallow lagoon across which lies their settlement of Codrington. We had intended to either heft our dinghy across the sandbar or call a water taxi, but we spent our first full day exploring the beach instead and by then it was too late. Early the next morning we woke to the rolling motion of the swell, and took Magnus ashore for a run. We made it on to the beach without an incident, but despite my best efforts to launch the dinghy between the small breaking weaves, one managed to flood the dinghy with a few inches of water while I was encouraging Magnus to jump in. I pushed off anyway and slowly puttered back to the boat while I bailed. By the time we were done with breakfast it was clear the swell was building and we moved around the south east part of the island to Gravenor Bay.
Gravenor Bay is not to be missed, as it has stunning clear water and possibly the healthiest coral we have seen in our travels. You just need to come in the last few miles in good light so you can clearly see the coral heads in the water and not put the boat hard aground as reportedly the charts are not very good for this area. Chrissy took the bow watch for the journey in and we were actually impressed with our Navionics charts as they seemed to be spot on.
While we weren’t quite alone, it is still a very private spot and we enjoyed snorkeling the coral heads ahead and behind where we had anchored. We even took the chance to try our dinghy anchor of the first time, and snorkeled just behind the barrier reef that protects the anchorage.
On shore, Barbuda is very flat so we spent a few hours exploring both days that we were here. The eastern shoreline is a stunning to see while watching the waves break as the bottom shallows. The crashing surf actually provides a nice sound at night to sleep to as well.
We managed to find a few donkeys in our travels, although Magnus was oblivious which is probably a good thing.
Our personal lifeguard keeping track of us in the water at all times.
Over all we enjoyed a few days of no news, email or even weather forecasts, but unfortunately, we weren’t able to reach a taxi so that we could get into see the town which I would have liked to do.
Perhaps we’ll just have to return again someday.