The morning after Roger and Mal left us, we sailed to
Bay, with the wind blowing in excess
of twenty knots, and that is where we stayed for two nights.
A couple of the buttons which manipulate the port winch
have perished so on arrival, repairing those was Dick’s first job. He sent an
email to Harken to order replacements, following that up next day by a phone
call. They are so on the ball, the order had already been processed and the
items sent to a chap who is coming here later this month.
As we sat in the cockpit drinking sun downers, while at
anchor in Deep Bay, what looked like a fair ground, covered in bright, multi
colored lights, passed a gap between the hill and the trees behind the beach; a
cruise liner was leaving St Johns, to make passage to its next port of
The last time we were in this bay a Rastafarian, with his
dog on a lead, walked back and forth, in the sea, alongside the beach, for at
least an hour. He was back again while we were at anchor and one wonders why he
exercises the dog in this manner.
The sea nearer the beach was a little clearer and we saw
long, slim fish swimming just below the surface of the water; they were about
eight inches long, at least an inch in diameter, with a colorful tail of orange,
yellow and green.
On Monday, we set sail for
Barbuda, some 25/30 miles from
Antigua, eating home-made pizza for lunch, en-route.
The island is only 125feet at its highest point with a
population of around 1500 people who purportedly live as subsistence farmers and
fishermen. According to a couple of books I read, the local inhabitants are
averse to change, refusing to have a desalination plant built, as well as
physically getting rid of temporary buildings which had been brought in as a
prelude to the construction of a big hotel.
Having difficulty finding reasonable access through the
coral reefs to one of the bays, we retraced our steps a little and anchored off
Cocoa Point and the long, curved, sandy beach, in excess of 16miles in
As we maneuvered our way around the coral, the port
engine decided to stop functioning, the fan belt had broken. Poor Dick had to
struggle next morning to replace it.
During the afternoon we sailed between the beach and the
reef, to Low
Bay. The passage was awful, with big
rollers, two metre swells, coming from the reef towards the beach, breaking over
the port beam. At times the depth of the water reduced to as little as
2.5metres; not very pleasant in such sea conditions.
We anchored just beyond the hotel, built on an ever
decreasing spit between the ocean and the inland lagoon; the swell was such that
we decided to retrace our steps and minutes before sunset, anchored between
Palmetta and Boat Dock.
The anchorage was most uncomfortable. Although the swell
was considerably less than at Low
Bay, it was still sufficient to cause
an almost sleepless night. Next morning, we moved the boat closer to Boat Dock
so that we would have a lesser distance to travel to land in the rib.
The pontoon was most rickety but despite that, a ferry
arrives from Antigua on a daily basis. We tied up at the
end of the pontoon and waited for our taxi to take us overland to the lagoon,
just the other side of the hotel at
Bay, near to where we had hoped to
anchor on the previous night. Had we done so, it would have not been possible to
land the rib safely on the beach.
Horses, deer and donkeys apparently roam wild, though I understand that
each horse does have an owner and although we saw donkeys “a la New
Forest”, the only horses we spotted were within enclosures.
When we reached the lagoon, George, our guide was waiting
for us. The three of us clambered aboard his boat and off we went. We were shown
the huge red buoy which had been salvaged from near the hotel at
Bay, having escaped from its original
water in the lagoon looked no more than about one foot deep but apparently it
averages five feet, being two miles wide and seven miles long. There were quite
a lot of mangroves growing from various ridges and at times it looked as if we
were racing through the water with a ridge, just below the water, either
About 20 thousand birds make up the frigate bird colony,
where the males during the mating season, sport huge, red pouches below their
Because a frigate bird is unable to take off again,
should it become submerged, it cannot dive for food so it harasses other birds
who have managed to catch a fish, stealing the catch as it is
We were amazed to see so many airborne birds as well as
an unimaginable number in the mangroves. The red pouches resembled exotic fruit
growing. This visit is a definite must for anybody traveling in these parts. The
ferry from Antigua takes just an hour and a half, a plane
flight only fifteen minutes.
We ate local, delicious, freshly grilled lobster for
lunch at a most unpretentious restaurant serving quite a lot of take away food
to locals. With all the trimmings, the cost was only $50EC per person. $4EC =£1.
Back at Boat
Harbour we manhandled the rib, which
had partially gone aground, into the water. Then, arriving back on Tucanon, we
lifted the anchor and moved the boat just short of Spanish Point, a much calmer
anchorage, a passage which took just over an hour.