Beautiful Barbuda

Barbuda is a low-lying coral island thirty miles north of Antigua, and one of the best hidden secrets of the Northern Antilles. Most of the 1,600 local residents live in the main city of Codrington, leaving the remainder of the island a collection of uninhabited beaches and coral lowlands. It is here that cruisers can enjoy the quiet solitude afforded in so few places throughout the Caribbean. 

All beaches being equal, each of the anchorages were very difference experiences: Spanish Point was remote, wind swept and deserted, bringing together a tight cruising community where the kids collectively played on the beach and the adults kite-surfed in the afternoon and everyone came together in the evenings for a barbecue and bonfire. A new curfew had been enforced across Antigua and Barbuda, but this restriction felt a million miles away as we freely mingled under the stars. It was a return to coral waters and sandy beaches, but sadly much of the reef was dead and the fish life sparse, most notable ashore in the mass mounds of conch graveyards.  As such, we focused on sports on top of the water rather than under it, enjoying a dedicated period of time for windsurfing and kitesurfing. Eventually the relentless trade winds that blowed a consistent 20 knots across the anchorage that drove us to seek shelter elsewhere. Spanish Point will remain in our minds a wild, windy and remote destination, yet equal in its beauty and the enjoyment of the constant social engagements with other cruisers. 

We found a long, beautiful fine white sand beach at Coco Point that, unfortunately, had also been discovered by the local hotel industry. An exclusive water sports club dominated the best kiting spots, but that didn’t stop us from enjoying the most of our corner of the beach. The kids enjoyed racing around on their newly-acquired water skis and John enjoyed spending time on his windsurfer, dragged down by kids catching a ride on the front of the board. We enjoyed a lobster dinner prepared by a local fisherman and the company of a few new cruising friends, a few of which became central to our enjoyment of the Caribbean further down the line.

Codrington sits at the northern tip of the island and provides a stunning pink sand beach that stretches for miles. We shared the anchorage with three other cruisers, enjoying  lunch picnics in the afternoons and sunset cocktails in the evenings. The highlight was getting close to breeding frigate birds who were amassed in great numbers in the inner estuary. We took our paddle boards on an expedition to get closer to them, and by rowing across a narrow strip of land into the shallow brackish lagoon we were able to approach the frigate birds nesting grounds and silently observe the mating rituals as the males puffed their bulbous red throats and the females squawked their response.

Barbuda will be one of those destinations that provided unique experiences in each of the different anchorages we visited. It was filled with fantastic moments shared with the other cruisers, from lobster barbeques, daily water sport, evening bonfires — all made the more unique as our isolation from society meant we weren’t locked down by a curfew that were restricting so many others. Our days were full, our nights were full, and our memories are full from all the wonderful experiences.

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