24th - 26th April|
Barbuda is an island north of Antigua, with one of the largest breeding colonies of Magnificent Frigate Birds in the world. I first wanted to get here in 1999, and failed. There have been numerous attempts since, failing due to weather, crew, charts, time etc, and I was beginning to think it was doomed. However, on this occasion, we made it. Chris and Jim came with us, which was fun, and we had a good sail up.
Due to the early start, the girls were tired and needed a doze when we got there. The boys were set on exploring, and finding beer, so setting off on a mini adventure. The first Chris and I knew was when we were rudely awaken by cries of emergency! Jim and John had gone ashore, pulling the dinghy up the beach, and had been forced to drink beer from a friendly beach bar. On returning to the beach, the dinghy was gone - in the distance with a setting sun could be seen a dark shape floating away. First priority was to bury the beers they had been bringing back for us, then swam back to the boat. We set off in some haste - fortunately our dinghy had been caught by a friendly American yacht, about 2 miles away, and they had alerted the anchorage on the VHF. We were very grateful, and tied the dinghy up very securely! - a happy end to their adventure.
The following day we met George Jeffrey for a trip to the bird colony - just fantastic, with lots of fluffy youngsters. I felt really priviledged to be able to get so close. This was followed by a walk round Codrington, and back to the boat.
Saturday 26th April, we set off back to Antigua, stopping to snorkel on Cata Bank, where we saw reef sharks and a spotted eagle Ray - fantastic. Then caught 2 fish on the way back, a small tuna and another albacore, so ensuring a good dinner back in English Harbour, a slightly interesting entrance at night, since the leading lights were not working!
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