The Road to Barbuda

Barbuda's anchorages are surrounded by reefs, so it's wise to arrive around midday when you can easily see and avoid them. Departing first thing in the morning from Green Island is a good way to make that crossing work.

So, we loaded up with mangos and some last minute shopping in the morning, and headed out to sea in the afternoon, to Green Island.

We don't have a chart-plotter at the wheel, so we'd bought a tablet to display charts on, there. However, the model we got had no GPS. Doh! It had correctly pinpointed our anchorage, so we hadn't noticed until we got under way to put up sails. Debugging this was all rather distracting, but we got them up (1st reef) and headed out of the bay. Back to charts on a phone, for the moment.

Immediately, it was obvious that the wind and sea were bigger than we'd expected, so we pulled in sail to the second reef, half-way out on the first tack.

Around the time we were doing this, we could hear a mayday emergency going on on the radio. Someone had run aground, north of Green Island, and [the ABSAR]( were heading out to sea to help out. They couldn't speak directly to the grounded yacht, so a French boat was relaying messages in French. Made it hard to understand exactly what was going on, but eventually we heard that the yacht had been towed off the reef and to a nearby harbour. Nobody was hurt.


The weather wasn't ideal, the wind kept picking up, and we could see that we'd arrive at Green Island together with a rain squall. So, reefed in again to 3rd reef, and ran up the channel, through the rain, to tuck in behind green island.

Probably a little bit close to the island, it gave us a somewhat sleepless night, worrying that the wind would change, and we'd be blown onto it.

We've been trying to fill up our water tanks, since fixing the water-maker, so ran it the entire day as we were sailing around. However, when we arrived we found that its pumps weren't making any pressure, and one of them had failed. At some point it must have got an air-bubble into the line, and air-locked the pumps, that may have pushed the weak one over the edge.

We have some spares, we'll replace it at Barbuda.

Time on the water: 3:26
Distance covered: 16.1nm
Avg speed: 4.7kts
Max speed: 10.1kts

Navionics Track


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