Back in the begining of August I shared an article I wrote and submitted to several sailing magazines. Well turns out Multihull Sailor chose to publish it in thier fall…
Antigua & Barbuda Travel Guide
Antigua & Barbuda are two islands that form an independent country in the lower half of the Leeward Islands of the Caribbean. Antigua is the larger of the two and is almost twice as big. Of the 80,000+ people only 2000 live on Barbuda, which is a very low lying sandy island.
In pre-Columbian time Arawak Indians lived on the islands farming and fishing until the much more aggressive Carib Indians invaded. Even though Christopher Columbus spotted Antigua on his second voyage, the Spanish chose not to settle on either island since there was no fresh water. It was not colonized until the British came to Antigua in 1632. 50 years later Christopher Codrington settled on Barbuda setting up a game reserve on the island due to the poor soil. The British held the islands until they were granted independence in 1981.
I sailed from St Barts to Barbuda on my six-week Leeward island cruise in April 2017. After a week or so we sailed down to Antigua and stayed in Falmouth Harbor on the south side to take care of some engine troubles and pick up crew.
Likes, Dislikes, and Recommendations
Barbuda is a wonderful laid-back island. It is very sand, surrounded by reefs, and offers fantastic anchorages….unless there is a ground swell. At those time it is not where you want to be. On the southern half especially make sure you have a good chart, good sunlight, and are good at eyeball navigation. I have two hints for you. First, most people do not know it, but you can check into the country at Barbuda as long as you give 48 hours’ notice by e-mailing email@example.com. Second, once on the island use George Jeffery as your guide to the frigate bird colony, water taxi across the lagoon, and all-around guide.
Coming from very quiet Barbuda, Antigua will feel like a metropolis, but it is a still a great island. You will find any yachting service you need along with provisioning and good flight connections. With anchorages all around the island, it can be a worthy cruising ground and I look forward to exploring it more. A secret I learned from other cruisers is to not check in/out at English Harbor. Always use the facility at Jolly Harbor to save a ton of money.
You can get even more helpful hints by watching the travel videos I am made for Antigua & Barbuda below. Also, you can read what all I did there in my blog posts located below the video.