Passage to Barbuda

Martin and Elizabeth Bevan
Mon 28 Mar 2011 17:00

Position           17:33.27N 61:46.26W

Date                1600 – 28 March 2011


Mindful of the advice that you should approach Barbuda at midday, in order to have the best light for detecting coral outcrops we were off at 0800 for the 30nm sail to Barbuda.  Having cleared the reefs to the north of Antigua our course was a great reach in winds of 20kts which with a single reef for comfort gave us a steady speed of 7.5 – 8kts.  The speed may have been comfortable but with a beam sea the motion was not, for some of the crew – no name, no pack drill!


Barbuda is very low lying and you do not see it until 6 miles off.  The main town, Coddrington, is in the middle of the island on the east of a large lagoon, the western side of which, facing the open sea, is a narrow strand of sand.


Our first anchorage was off the Coddrington Lagoon which was fine but the beach was being swept by rollers which would have made an assault beach landing a very wet experience.  We lunched and then moved round to the south east to anchor in Cocoa Bay, off Cocoa Point.  Miles of pristine white and pink sand, nobody in sight – wonderful.


Getting reasonably close in shore involved spotting from the bow to avoid coral outcrops and we came up to a secure spot with nothing solid within our swinging arc.


Motoring round to Cocoa Bay from Coddrington we had an engine alarm due to overheating.  Lowering the revs allowed the engine to cool but meant the trip into the wind took longer than it might.  I checked the impellor which was undamaged.  Andrew and Celia on ARC boat Alice having arrived back in Antigua and being old Antigua hands were telephoned and they were able to organise a mechanic to visit on our return from Barbuda.  We were very grateful for the assistance as sailing with a semi-functioning engine in these waters is something to be avoided.