Barbuda - beaches & birds - 19-21st March 2011
Barbuda is approximately 30 miles from Antigua and we ended up motoring in flat seas to this stunning low lying island. We were also mindful on our approach of the treacherous reefs that surround Barbuda and although the forward looking sonar came into use, there was one point as we were clearing Nine Foot Bank, that we only had 0.4 metres under the keel. At this point we were being closely followed by Sea Otter, who drew a similar depth to Nimue. Anyway safely clear, we anchored in Low Bay just outside the very chic Lighthouse Bay Hotel.
Minutes later we were being hailed from ashore by a number of locals, if we wanted a taxi! It all became clear, as we were sitting for lunch on Sea Otter, as a man in a dinghy approached us asking if we would like to take a water taxi to see the largest colony of frigate birds and the main town of Codrington. We agreed a price with ‘Goldilocks’; (his nickname) and were met by him an hour or so later on the shore. We walked a few paces from our dinghy to his long boat on the Codrington Lagoon, which runs along Barbuda’s west coast. We all clambered in and moments later were speeding towards the frigate bird colony.
Approaching low lying Barbuda
Sea Otter closely following Nimue around Nine Foot Bank
Jonas checking the anchor, with Heather overlooking proceedings
Nimue anchored off Low Bay beach
Outside the Lighthouse Bay Hotel – prices start from $1150 per day!
Then onto Codrington town. Goldilocks was so friendly and he was keen to show us around his very tiny town. We were made very welcome at the very aptly named Green Door Tavern, although we were the only ones in there for a drink. Later we headed towards the main crossroads where we had delicious ribs and burgers off the local BBQ.
Goldilocks was saying that the Japanese had spent a lot of money on building up the island’s fishing factory, but this was a means to trying to obtain votes for whale fishing. Something which Goldilocks maintained would never happen. Let’s hope so?
The names given to these places are so fitting!
At the main crossroads where ribs & burgers were being cooked
This buoy drifted all the way from Canada to Barbuda
Goldilocks standing next to his fast boat
The moon setting behind the Lighthouse Bay Hotel
Low Bay had a truly magnificent beach, with miles upon miles of white sand and turquoise blue sea. We had learnt from the previous day ashore, that the beach shelved very quickly and landing the dinghy was quite tricky. This meant that the only way Stormy the sea dog could get ashore was by Jonas and Heather towing a little child’s dinghy with Stormy inside. The pictures tell the story.
Stormy being taken ashore.......
.........and returning back to Sea Otter
This was (or so we thought at the time) to be our last day with Sea Otter, so we said our goodbye’s that night, as we were making an early start the next morning for St. Barts, some 60 nm away.