Being Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d talk just a little more about the island that stole my heart. Many of our friends prefer the mountainous terrain of the Caribbean islands, but I like the flatness of Barbuda. If we had spent more time there, I could hike and ride bicycles without worrying about hurting my knee. I did something to my knee while hiking in Dominica last season and it has never been the same. Guess I am getting old.
The Coco Point Resort looks like the picture used for advertising for “your next dream vacation in a Caribbean paradise.” The sandy white beach lined with coconut palms and other lush greenery, tiki huts for shade while you lounge around sipping fruity cocktails decorated with fresh pineapple and little umbrellas, and warm and clear bright blue water to swim in with reefs nearby to snorkel. However, us cruisers are from the wrong side of the buoys and are not allowed to visit the resort. That’s okay, our view is actually better than theirs and it’s free! Sort of. Well, you know what I mean. Some of these resorts are US$2,000 per night!
While out enjoying the water from our side of the buoys, Dave asked me to take him lobstering. So I drove the dinghy, dropped him off at the reefs, and hovered nearby until he was ready to be picked up. We tried several reefs, but Dave struck out on lobster. He saw a couple that were too small to take and missed the only big one he saw. Bummer. Better luck next time, Dave.
While waiting in the dinghy for Dave, I admired the view of the island. It was unreal how blue the water and sky were. There was just a tiny strip of land separating the two. Beautiful.
The clouds added a dramatic touch in both sky and water, highlighting the location of the resort. But every good thing must come to an end. Bright and early the next morning (pictured at top of page), we weighed anchor and set sail for Nonsuch Bay back on Antigua Island.
Slow Dancing left a little later, but caught up and watching their boat made me realize just how big the waves were. Yes it was a spirited sail, but nothing our boats couldn’t handle. Slow Dancing only looked like they were sinking when they disappeared behind the waves.
It was a quick trip to Nonsuch Bay until we reached Green Island. Then a slow monohull blocked our path to enter the channel. We were okay with that, though, because the entrance to the bay is riddled with reefs and rocks and you have to zigzag your way in. We just followed slow poke move for move and cruised right on in. Thanks for being the pilot boat, slow poke!
We easily scored a FREE mooring ball and settled in. The bay was lovely. Even with big wind the water was calm in the anchorage. Reefs protect it all around, which is what makes it such a popular site for kiteboarders: lots of wind and little to no waves. Dave’s kiteboarding lessons here were based off a dinghy instead of the beach. Dave said he liked it better because the instructors were more accessible to give you instruction. Plus, they had the whole bay and weren’t limited to a small stretch of beach. Dave could get up on the board and just go! And he did, most of the way across the bay. Unfortunately, he was too far for me to get any pictures.
We left Nonsuch Bay much too soon in order to join several other boats of friends for a Super Bowl party at the Crow’s Nest in Jolly Harbour. While there, we stocked back up on groceries and produce and enjoyed dinners out at the local restaurants. But, when we tried to leave to join Mowzer and Blue Moon in Deep Bay, our engines felt like they weren’t putting out much power. It was extremely difficult to get off the anchor. It was blowing 30 knots, sure, but we still should have been able to drive up and weigh anchor without issue. We made it in to the fuel dock to fill our water tanks, but the boat struggled and it was a slightly messy landing. When we left the fuel dock, Dave tested the engines in the protected marina waters. Our starboard engine failed. It was not putting out any power in forward or reverse. Only the port engine was working. We made it back out to a mooring ball and called Dan on Slow Dancing. A local named Wesley was still working on Dan’s generator and said he’d come by to take a look at our engine. Apparently, when we had the drive shaft repaired in St Lucia, they did not install it correctly. It came loose so it didn’t spin to power the propeller and water came in where it disconnected. It was very fortunate this happened in Jolly Harbour! Wesley came back the next day and fixed us up. Now, where did Blue Moon and Mowzer go? …
So, yeah: “Lobstering, Sailing, and Sinking”… All were possible but no lobsters jumped onto Dave’s spear; sailing was accomplished two out of three tries, and sinking didn’t happen for either Slow Dancing or Livin’ Life. Thank goodness. Slow Dancing just looked like they were and we did take on some water from the drive shaft again, but we aborted early and were in the best location in Antigua to get it fixed.