Antigua anchorages and snorkeling spots - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 19 Old 10-19-2009 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice. Barbuda looks beautiful. I'll have to study the chart. I thought that with the color of the water it must be shallow over white sand bottom. I'm looking forward to my visit, probably will arrive the first week of December.

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post #12 of 19 Old 08-28-2010
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Realize this is an old thread but I would imagine that others will check it so a couple of thoughts.
1. The outer anchorage in English Harbour can get quite nasty will the wrong swells.Plus it tends to get quite crowded so there is not much room if you (or your neighbour) starts to drag). In these conditions you can go into one of the little bays to the north of the Dockyard and anchor in mud. These spots are incredibly protected from wind and swell to the extent that we could not believe it was the same day. These bays can be buggy though when there is no breeze at all.
2. I agree about Nonsuch Bay. It is a lovely spot to spend a few days.

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post #13 of 19 Old 09-04-2012
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Re: Antigua anchorages and snorkeling spots

Also note this is an old thread, but we chartered with Horizon in 2011, and were allowed/encouraged to go to Barbuda, which we did... absolutely pristine, beautiful beach on the western side. (I swear it is that beach in the Corona ads with the two beach chairs...) Approach is manageable, just pay attention to charts and water color to avoid reefs. Dinghy ashore, go for the island tour/frigate bird colony visit. Really wonderful.
On Antigua, anchored in Falmouth harbor for two days, you can taxi to Shirley Heights for Sunday night jump-up, very fun, and walk to sights in and around English Harbour. For beaches, Dickenson Bay is a gorgeous beach, easy to dinghy ashore. Anchorage can get rolly, but a nice spot, and good jumping off point for Barbuda. Very good restaurant at the southern end of that beach. We also loved Deep Bay, northwest corner of Antigua... protected anchorage, pretty stretch of beach, can hike up to fort for a great view. Use Chris Doyle's guide. So well done.
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post #14 of 19 Old 09-05-2012
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Re: Antigua anchorages and snorkeling spots

Thinking about Antigua/Barbuda for a charter in the not-too-distant future. Have visited Antigua before, but on a monster cruise ship. Really enjoyed spending time on the beach at Valley Church Bay. So, a couple of questions...

1) Prevailing winds from the East, as with most of the Caribbean?
2) Can you anchor overnight off Valley Church Bay, or is it better to pull into Jolly Harbour?
3) Best spots for an overnight anchorage around Barbuda?
4) What is the sailing like between Antigua and Barbuda? I'm sure it depends on the weather, but let's just say in "prevailing" conditions.

Thanks.
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post #15 of 19 Old 09-05-2012
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Re: Antigua anchorages and snorkeling spots

Any anchorage there is often going to be more dependant on the swell condition and direction that the wind.. which is always there from the Easterly quadrant.

This is particularly true in Barbuda where there's really no wind break anyway.. so which ever anchorage (and there are really only two viable spots, IIRC) has the easier swell is the one to use. As mentioned before you need to be comfortable with skinny water visual navigation... arrive midday, not in the evening.

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post #16 of 19 Old 09-05-2012
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Re: Antigua anchorages and snorkeling spots

prevailing winds are from the east, often northeast in winter months. So, anchorages on the western side of the island, in the lee, will be generally less rolly. Not familiar with Valley Church Bay. We started and ended at Jolly Harbour, and spent our last night in the outer anchorage just north of the entrance channel, which was crowded but comfortable.
Barbuda is about 30 mile passage from Antigua. You don't see Barbuda till the last few miles. We took the advice of Chris Doyle's book and folks at Horizon, and anchored two nights off the beach on the west side of Barbuda, north of Palmetto point, which is the safest approach to the island (fewer reefs to navigate). It was comfortable in the anchorage, although they say it can get rolly in northerly swells, in which case you might choose to anchor over near Cocoa point.
As for the passage, it is "open ocean", so pretty decent swells and wind. Wait for a nice weather window. We had a beautiful romping reach over to Barbuda, and another fun sail on the way back. Absolutely make sure to arrive around midday for visualizing the reefs. Your charter company will give you a lot of information too. I would say that sailing Antigua/Barbuda requires a higher level of sailing experience than, say, the BVI. Hope this helps.
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post #17 of 19 Old 09-09-2012
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Re: Addenda

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Originally Posted by YMRookie View Post
Doh! Just read my own post....of course meant to say English Harbour is a must (just around the corner from Falmouth) with the Dockyards and Fort, occasional gentle swell but idillic anchorage that also has mooring balls. The Fort on the point is worth the walk for the views and history.
Are the mooring balls free. Does anyone belong to the antigua yacht club?

antiguayachtclub.com $75.00 a year, get into events, parties and discounts to the bar, cloggy's.

For $150.00 free use of dinghy's.
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post #18 of 19 Old 09-10-2012
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Re: Antigua anchorages and snorkeling spots

No, the mooring balls are not free; I don't recall seeing the pay-by-night type, those I saw were private.

Fellow sailors with 2 young boys took a temporary membership and the kids were on the lasers and optis every day and made the most of it. The bar/restaurant upstairs is nice, but I think it is open to non-members as well. The yacht club is right next to the Falmouth docks and very accessible.


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post #19 of 19 Old 09-10-2012
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Re: Antigua anchorages and snorkeling spots

There are moorings in Falmouth for rent. They have little placards on them. 25$ ? I think per night.
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