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aerie 10-09-2009 02:36 AM

Antigua anchorages and snorkeling spots
I'll be cruising Antigua and Barbuda for the first time next month and wonder where are the places not to miss? I do have the Doyle and Street Cruising guides, but am looking for recommendations from people who have cruised there.

Zanshin 10-09-2009 05:43 AM

There are some wonderful beaches and anchorages in Antigua. If you anchor in Falmouth Harbour you can drop the hook in sand right off Parrot beach and swim there - the rest of Falmouth isn't the best of waters, though. The same applies for English Harbour, drop the hook in the outside harbour closer to Shirley Heights and you've got a pretty beach. The beaches and waters around Jolly Harbour are wonderful, but the free anchorage area is a bit of a dinghy ride.

Do you prefer secluded areas or ones with attractions (a.k.a. "Bars") ashore?

Faster 10-09-2009 09:52 AM

Around to the outside of Antigua Nonsuch Bay's reef provides some beautiful snorkeling if the swells not too high. The anchorage at Green Island (Ricketts Bay) nearby is small and fairly private, and also nearby is Ten Pound Bay, with a gorgeous beach and no crowds except for the noon arrival of the occasional rum charter. Ten Pound can be tough to get into and is a bit shallow so getting in depends on weather and your boat.

aerie 10-09-2009 10:04 AM


Originally Posted by Zanshin (Post 530323)
Do you prefer secluded areas or ones with attractions (a.k.a. "Bars") ashore?

I prefer secluded areas, but I'm afraid my guests will want shoreside attractions. The boat draws 5-1/2 feet.

YMRookie 10-09-2009 11:29 AM

We were there last year in June and could only spend a couple of days around the island as we sailed to Guadeloupe and back. We liked it so much, we're back in Nov for a longer stay using Horizon in Jolly Harbour.
Agree with previous post re-Falmouth Harbour, it is a must, use two days pref over sat/sun to inc. Shirley Heights B'q'.
The morning sail to Barbuda is also worth the trip for that deserted isle experience.

Zanshin 10-09-2009 11:49 AM

Barbuda is, without a doubt, secluded! I just realized that I have some pictures - see here for some pictures or go to my google map page.

YMRookie 10-09-2009 02:37 PM

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.

JSL3 10-09-2009 03:14 PM

Don't miss Barbuda (and especially the Frigate bird tour) if the weather cooperates. I wrote up a brief summary of our trip last year. Here's the link.

hphoen 10-09-2009 04:37 PM

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Barbuda is exceptionally unique. We anchored near Spanish Point, in the eastern end of Gravenor Bay, and were all by ourselves except for the dolphins playing and the seabirds. The next day we worked around to the western side of the island and anchored off a totally undeveloped white sand beach. The water in Barbuda is the most intense turquoise you'll ever see. (photo below).

TQA 10-16-2009 07:51 PM

I would not snorkel in Falmouth or English Harbour. No holding tanks! Instead visit the dockyard and watch the sun go down from Shirley heights.

North Sound is better and the water will be cleaner. Dont miss Nonsuch Bay anchor behind the reef just north of Green Island and you will get some of the best snorkeling in the Caribbean

Barbuda has some brilliant snorkeling but unless you are comfortable with real skinny water eyeball navigation you may find it a bit daunting. The charter boats are not allowed to go there so it is quiet!

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