|Barbuda. Not Barbados|
Barbados is a beautiful island in the Windwards that many winter weary sun cravers love to visit. The latest island in our travels is often mistaken for Barbados, but unlike Barbados, the tiny island of Barbuda is rarely visited by outsiders. Barbuda is in the Leewards, hundreds of miles north of Barbados, and is not a vacation spot for several reasons. It is completely inaccessible except by boats with very shallow drafts (bottoms), and most sailors (ourselves clearly not included) with shallow drafts would be foolish to venture this far into the remote part of the Caribbean Sea. No cruise boats will ever make it here. It is also not on most travel itineraries because there is virtually no infrastructure here. Minimal power. No hotels. A couple thousand residents and a couple of makeshift lean-to’s where food might available…if you are here on the right day.
But if you want to see a Caribbean island that has not yet suffered the blight of mankind, Barbuda is the place for you. With no lack of effort we got here, found an anchorage where we prayed the boat would hold, and were taken on a “tour” by Claude. Claude was a somewhat droll and unenthusiastic host, but was nonetheless fascinated that we had made the effort to visit his outpost. We pressed him to show us around his atoll, and he reluctantly accommodated.
Basically, Barbuda is a gigantic pink sand beach. The waters around it are rough but absolutely pristine. Lobsters are everywhere, and there are almost no restrictions on taking them.
So other than a visit to their national treasure, a protected giant frigate sanctuary, we spent the day consuming giant lobster and drinking Carib, the local brew.
|The Frigate Birds on Barbuda have wingspans of 4 feet|
We stayed up all night, fearing the anchor would pull and strand us here like Gilligan and his cohorts. It held and we hightailed it back to Antiqua, proud for having been among the few sailors to have checked Barbuda off the bucket list.