Barbuda April 13-16, 2010 

Click on the above thumbnail for a map during this time period

Barbuda is a land of contrasts.  It has the kind of beaches that one automatically associates with tropical islands, but it has very little of an associated tourist-oriented infrastructure.  Whereas its sister island, Antigua, is checkered with fancy gated developments targeted at wealthy Americans and Europeans, Barbuda is a sparsely populated island with only about 1600 human residents, and probably as many wild donkeys.  Property on the island is held communally -- outsiders may not purchase land; they may only enter into lease agreements.  It is a very low island; the "highlands" along the northeast only reach about 125 feet above sea level.  There is a very large lagoon that stretches along the western portion of the island; it lies just behind a very thin stretch of sand that presents perhaps the most beautiful pink-sand beach in the Caribbean.  At the northern end of Codrington Lagoon is one of the largest Magnificent Frigate bird rookeries in the world, and this is attracting a steady if not mighty stream of visitors.

Coco Point and points east along the southern shore

Our first stop on this visit was to the anchorage at Coco Point.  While anchored there we dinghied to the beach near the small guard house where a very friendly man named George guards the property of the Coco Point Lodge Hotel.  We were joined by Chris and Yani (Magus) and Hunter and Devi (Arctic Tern) for a walk along a stretch of the "main" road that runs east toward Spanish Point.

Wallking down the beach toward the guardhouse

Another view of the gorgeous beach

"Scarecrow" marks the spot where the road can be accessed from the beach

Mighty puzzle: there are not big trees on Barbuda

Island is mostly flat, and in the south has many exposed patches of limestone

We veered off the road to walk east along the shore of Gravenor Bay ...

... which features limestone rather than sand

On the return trip the heel came off of Chuck's sandal -- here Hunter supplies an emergency application of Duct Tape ...

... but shortly thereafter the toe came loose as well

The "Barbuda Triangle" as seen on our return

While at Coco Point we had a VERY unusual occurence: clocking winds almost through 360 degrees

Frigate Rookery

On another day we all engaged a taxi driver to come out to Coco Point and take us into the island's only town:  the village of Codrington.  There we met with George Jeffrey, the "dean" of the tour guides that take visitors to the Frigate rookery.  Last year on our visit we had seen a few hopeful males still sporting the huge red pouches on their breasts that are used to attract a female;  this year, only a few weeks later, there were no pouches in evidence.  Pouches or no, the rookery is still a remarkable place to visit.

"Dean" of the Frigate tour guides: George Jeffrey

Chris, Yani and Devi look at birds and jelly fish

Besides birds, the rookery is "famous" for its "upside down" jelly fish ...

... which have plants (zoanthellae) growing on them

Another boat arrives at the rookery

Spanish Point/White Bay

As the shoreline proceeds west from Coco Point along Gravenor Bay, it changes from limestone to sand, and the bay accordingly changes names to White Bay.  On 4/15 the Barbuda Triangle moved from Coco Point to Spanish Point, anchoring between the coral heads of White Bay.  The next day, two legs of the triangle (Arctic Tern and Tusen Takk II) went on a long hike up the along the eastern shore.  Not too far up, we found an interesting campsite, and later, walking along a very-seldom-used vehicle track, we found a cactus bearing fruit.  The Terns promptly set to doing some peeling, and we all got a taste.  Not bad.

Barbuda Triangle is joined by a small French boat in White Bay

Wild horses behind the dunes along the eastern shore

Hammock at a "hidden" campsite

camp firesite

plastic tray suspended to provide storage place at the camp

scouring pad cached in a tree fork at the site

seen at several camp sites, this is probably a hanger for clothes

Eastern beach was totally deserted but certainly not litter-free

Stump washed ashore (and subsequently adorned by beach walkers)

Hunter constructs a tripod -- just "because"

Returning along the vehicle track behind the dunes...

... the Terns discover a cactus bearing fruit

This fruit ...

... fell off of this cactus

Devi peels ...

... and gets her hand very stained ...

... while Hunter avoids the problem

VERY surprising sprout out of the sand track

Ghost crab thinks he has hidden in the shadow



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