We’ve been in Barbuda about a week now. The sail up was good, we put a reef in the main when the winds went over 20 and then shook it out when they dropped down to 12. We followed Cranstackie (Alister and Esther,) Kaisosi (Annette and Terry, ) and Silk Pajamas (Kristen and Terry). We left after them… and could see them at first but soon they disappeared out of sight. Too fast for Blue Pearl. We arrived about 40 minutes after them and settled in.
|Blue Pearl lying off Barbuda|
|Fancy Lighthouse Bay |
|Helping Cool Change with their dinghy|
Barbuda is the most Bahamian looking island we’ve seen down here. It is flat, flat, flat. The highest point is about 200 feet above sea level with salt ponds and mangrove lagoons.
After a day of bobbing around we took off for a beach walk past the fancy, exclusive “Lighthouse Bay” resort. They have placed a beach shack nearby to sell beer and cheap hamburgers to the riffraff cruisers to keep us out of their hair.
Lovely beach, lovely walk… nice to get to know our new cruising buddies.
|11 Mile Beach|
|Pam's picture window|
We made arrangements to go in to see the Frigate Bird Sanctuary with our guide, George. The surge was huge and our beach landing was quite a mess. People, propellers, cameras and other bits went whirling around when the massive waves flipped one of the dinghies right at the beach. These waves are “Big Beach” waves… for those of you who have visited that beach south of Kihei, Maui.
Anyway, we all survived, dried off and had a great tour. George told us to keep our fingers away from between the boat and the dock when we boarded. Pam kept her fingers clear but not her big toe.
|That looks painful!|
|poling through the mangroves|
|Hey girls... check out my big red balloony thing|
|Enjoying the ride|
The day after our tour we moved to the south anchorage at Gravenor Bay for some respite from the swell. Lots of coral heads and reefs. You wouldn’t want to enter here in bad light.
Great dinner on Cranstackie -wow, Esther can cook. Followed the next night by Sundowners on Blue Pearl. Drinks led to more drinks - guitars and bad singing. I got much better as the night went on and, as usual Pam got meaner and meaner.
|Kristen and Alister|
|In fine voice|
Great tour on Sunday of the old Codrington Estate, the Sink Hole and the Caves at Two Foot Beach. We can endorse our driver, Dilly (Dolmar) Desuza and our guide, Elvis - or Heron - or William - just don’t call him late for dinner. Great sights, great company and super folks to take us around.
Codrington leased the whole island of Barbuda in the early 1700s at a rate of "one fat sheep" per year. He used the island as a sporting lodge to hunt, fish and for growing some root vegetables and other crops to feed the locals and slaves on his cane-plantations elsewhere. Because the island was not suitable for sugar cane, the slaves here were involved in farming and fishing and taking care of Codrington. He was away a lot and so the slaves weren't supervised (and exploited) to the extent they were on the cane-growing islands. The folks here now are mostly decendents of the original slaves and own the island communally.
|Rubble from the Codrington Estate - circa 1750|
Elvis found the sinkhole when he was 14 years old while he was out hunting. He had heard stories from his elders but it hadn't been explored so it became his passion. It's a hundred foot straight drop if you come at it from the wrong direction and there are the bones of a boar and a cow who did just that. There is a scrambly path to get down that allows you to arrive at the bottom gently - and not with a thud.
|Down in the sinkhole|
|Elvis/Heron/William with the stalagmite|
|View from plateau you get to via cave|
|Terry careful with his head|
|Coming out of the cave|
|One of many, many donkeys - a real jackass|
|Lunch with LOTS of beers to rehydrate|
Snorkelling today on the Spanish Point reef and then heading back to Antigua on Tuesday to get the boat all prepped for our visit from Scott and Tina on Thursday. Very excited to see them!