Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sail to Barbuda

Monday, January 21

With the wind out of the East / Southeast, we had great conditions to sail to Barbuda. We averaged about 8 knots the majority of the way there. There were some big swells hitting at the starboard beam, so I ran inside to secure everything. I heard Gene yell from outside, so I ran out to see what was going on, and just as I got outside, I saw a huge splash about a mile off to port. Gene had witnessed a huge humpback whale jumping out of the water! We heard from our buddies in Saba that Jan – Feb is the season for the Atlantic Humpback whales and that we may see them as we headed south. Of course, we spent the next two hours staring out to sea trying to see another one, but no luck.

We arrived in Barbuda around 2pm. As we came in closer to shore, we saw a pod of 5 dolphin. First dolphin sighting of the trip! Dolphin aren't are prevalent in the Caribbean as they are in south Florida, so we were so happy to see them! Barbuda is a very remote island north of Antigua. It's half the size of Antigua, and almost entirely uninhibited. The highest point is a plateau called The Highlands that is 125 ft in elevation. The island is surrounded by shallow waters, especially on the west coast, which is a perfect anchorage. Almost everyone from Barbuda (population of 2,000) lives in village of Codrington which is basically in the middle of the island, and not very easy to get to from the anchorages surrounding the island. There are also only a few resorts on the island, so there are very few tourists aside from the sailing and yachting community. We anchored in Low Bay just off the famous 11-mile beach on the west coast, and took the dingy to shore as soon as we had the anchor down to explore. The sand on the beach is a beautiful pink color from the coral which reminded us so much of Eleuthera but with coarser grains of sand. We walked about a mile towards the north end of the island, and decided to gather firewood for later in the evening for a beach bonfire. Later that evening after dinner, after noticing another beach fire further down the coast, we took the dingy to the beach for a beautiful Barbudan beach fire.

11-Mile Beach (West Coast of Barbuda)

Sunset behind Kalalau in Barbuda

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