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Bareboat Charter in Antigua and Barbuda #82805
01/18/2016 05:21 PM
01/18/2016 05:21 PM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 66
New York, NY
C
c388791 Offline OP
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c388791  Offline OP
Traveler
C
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 66
New York, NY
Hey Sailors,

Was hoping to get some inside scoop from people who have sailed around Antigua and Barbuda. My partner and I are chartering a Bavaria 33 from Horizon the end of February.

I've read the cruising guides, looked at the charts, and read every thing I could find on line.

I guess my one specific question is: How easy is it to navigate around all of the reefs? Looks like there are some fantastic anchorages near Great Bird and Rabbit Islands in northeast Antigua, but lots of coral. Same goes for the south coast of Barbuda, between Cocoa Point and Spanish Point. I know about the changes of water color, having the sun behind/above you, and to watch for breaking waves/changes in the surface patterns.

Also hoping to get some general comments and impressions from those who have been there. I'm looking forward to the passage to/from Barbuda, as well as some quiet anchorages and nature. We tend to shy away from the beach bar/social scene and cook/bbq most meals on board.

Thanks,

George

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Re: Bareboat Charter in Antigua and Barbuda [Re: c388791] #82806
01/18/2016 08:27 PM
01/18/2016 08:27 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 247
Tustin CA
d_fish Offline
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d_fish  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 247
Tustin CA
Hi George:

We sailed Antigua/Barbuda April 2012 with Horizon on a lavezzi catamaran.

We did not find it difficult to navigate around the reefs. We do bring our own navigation software on a laptop and GPS on each and every trip as a form of redundancy so that we can double check navigation. Al of Horizon gives you an excellent chart briefing before your charter. Bear in mind when you go through your briefing there are a lot of places marked in red/off limits that you are not allowed to take your charter boat - I must admit I was surprised at how many anchorages were off limits. Al makes this perfectly clear. You may wish to ask Horizon for the no-go places before you plan too much as there are quite a few of them. For example if I remember correctly we were only allowed to anchor in 2 places in Barbuda. I don't think we were allowed to go to Coco Point. Double check with Horizon.

We enjoyed Antigua/Barbuda and hope to revisit in 2017. Would add Guadaloupe into our itinerary next time.

One regret we had is that we only stayed in Barbuda 2 nights, Low Bay close to Codrington Lagoon and close to Palmetto point. We should have stayed 3 and rented a car and toured the island by car. The beaches and water are spectacular. When we were there, there were no beach bars or social scene or even restaurants open on shore for that matter. Close to Palmetto point fisherman came by and sold us a bucket of lobster and fresh fish. If you like peace and solitude that is what you should find.

Also be aware of waves/rollers when taking the dinghy to shore. Our daughter was dinghying in to pick us up and she nearly flipped the dinghy by not paying attention to the waves. She ended up almost sideways to a wave and flipping the dinghy.

Anchorages we particularly enjoyed in Antigua are Deep Bay and Falmouth/English Harbor. We couldn't anchor in English Harbor as Prince Edward and family were visiting on their yacht and the entire harbor was closed off. We were able to walk over.

Excellent provisioning right in Jolly Harbor.

Enjoy the sunsets and amazing and water such a beautiful color. So unlike anywhere else we have visited in the Caribbean.

Re: Bareboat Charter in Antigua and Barbuda [Re: d_fish] #82807
01/19/2016 12:31 AM
01/19/2016 12:31 AM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 247
Tustin CA
d_fish Offline
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d_fish  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 247
Tustin CA
This topic should perhaps be moved to the general Caribbean section where you may receive more responses <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Thumbsup.gif" alt="" />

Re: Bareboat Charter in Antigua and Barbuda [Re: d_fish] #82808
01/19/2016 07:02 PM
01/19/2016 07:02 PM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 66
New York, NY
C
c388791 Offline OP
Traveler
c388791  Offline OP
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Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 66
New York, NY
Thanks for your response. I'm looking forward to the trip, and I'll re-post in the general Caribbean section.

Re: Bareboat Charter in Antigua and Barbuda [Re: c388791] #82809
01/25/2016 12:38 AM
01/25/2016 12:38 AM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 910
CrazyCanuxx Offline
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CrazyCanuxx  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 910
In addition to Horizon...

Once you are in jolly harbour, hang around West Point Bar with the yachties. Gordon the Commandant will be more than willing to give sailing advise. In his absence, many locals including Red (local) or Tanner (Canadian expat) - both avid racers- can provide insight.

Ask the bartenders (Kevin still there?) to point someone out. They are a great bunch.

If you get a chance whilst not on board, Al Porto pizzas are highly recommended. RSVP req'd on some nights such as 2 4 1.

Epicurean is a bit overpriced but fully stocked. If available, hire a $20 golf cart from Randy at suntours near castaways beach bar or from jolly harbour golf carts near bank.

While in Barbuda, hire a local to canoe you to Frigate Reserve. This time of year the males put on a mating show. Two hours is lots of time as the boat ride is short. More info on barbudaful.net

The beaches are some of the best you have ever seen.

enjoy your sail. Antigua and Barbuda are usually safe, quiet and serene.

cheers,

cc


Cheers,
CrazyCanuxx


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