Low Bay, Barbuda
February 22-23, 2009
Pink Sands, Friggin Frigates and Crystal Blue Waters and FISH!!
We are anchored on Low Bay, Barbuda. All aboard have agreed that this is the most beautiful beach we have ever seen. It is over 15 miles long, the water is ice blue and the sands powdery fine and pink. There is nothing on this 15 mile stretch of beach except for a small exclusive resort- Lighthouse Bay- with only 9 rooms. There was only one other boat anchored here a few miles away from ours. We wanted to find out some local info so we took the dingy over to the other boat where we met up with the “naked Swede”.. he wasn’t very helpful as he spook poor English, French and Spanish (we have three languages covered on this boat!). We then took the dinghy to the resort to find out the local scoop.
The resort was dead, with only 3 rooms full and all of the guests out for the day. Their restaurant and bar was closed and the workers were just sitting around swatting flies. We chatted them up and come to find out the manager was married to a Cajun from Dulac! All of a sudden the bar opened for us and we spent the afternoon lounging in their seaside restaurant drinking Wadadli’s (Antigua beer) and Antiguan rum and cokes. We probably walked about 6 miles of beach and tried to pick out the most perfect conch shell as a memento of the day.
On Monday we arranged for a water taxi to Codrington, the capital city (if you can call it a city..). Goldilocks picked us up at 9:30 and was our chauffeur/tour guide for the day. He took us around in his St. Lucia skiff. We first went to the Frigate bird sanctuary. It is the largest in the Caribbean and one of the largest in the world. We pulled up right in the middle of thousands of frigates. It is mating season so we were able to see lots of fuzzy white baby frigates and also male frigates with their bright red throats trying to attract a female. It was really a cool experience, hard to put into words.. However, if you are not a fan of birds (we are referring to you –mom Mikkelsen)- you might find that it is a scene straight out of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”.
After we reached frigate overload, we taxied into town to go through the usual customs/immigration song and dance. Everywhere is unique and this island definitely fell true to this. Our first stop was the port authority at 11:00 a.m. The “port authority lady” was not in the office yet and was still at home.. so Goldilocks had us walk through the back alleyways of town, past chickens, goats, mules, sleeping people and large lizards straight to her house. Miss Port Authority, with her royal blue hair, gigantic boobs and hot pants and tiny white dog was very helpful and gave us our cruising permit for the next month for Antigua and Barbuda. Our next stop was immigration- which was empty. After a few phone calls, Goldilocks told us she would be coming “just now” (we all know what that means in Caribbean speak). We passed the time at a night club/museum/political headquarters building and chatted up the locals. In an hour or so, immigration lady drove up in her green truck and we were all happy. Unfortunately it was a false alarm- she informed us she was just stopping by and would be back “just now”. Another 45 minutes later, she returned and processed us through. Finally, it was lunch time. We ate with the locals and feasted on fried Barracuda, peas and rice and Johnny cakes- delicious.
Back at the boat it was time for some fishing ourselves. Carlos and the Cajun went out to a huge reef about 300 yards from our boat. We circled the reef and had several bites but only came up with a lizard fish which we named Lizzy and kept to use for bait to get bigger fish. The rain came and brought a perfect rainbow over the boat. We used it as a reason to celebrate and made a batch of fresh mango/peach daiquiris. After another perfect sunset, we cut up Lizzy and fished from the bow of the boat. Before long, the line was buzzing and Carlos was reeling in a 12 pound Mutton Snapper. You cannot imagine the amount of excitement this brought! Our fishing drought had ended!! When we brought him up, the poor fish was blinded by the flashes of cameras- we should have named him Hollywood because he certainly was a celebrity that day. Now he is filleted and in ziplock bags in our fridge and freezer. We will be enjoying him even more for lunch tomorrow!
Today it is on to a new anchorage and new adventures. Happy Mardi Gras everyone!