Tuesday, February 20, 2007

January 11, 2007 - Codrington, Barbuda

We have never worked so hard to clear into a country. Low Bay is on the leeward side of the spit of land that provides the western boarder to the lagoon in the middle of Barbuda. The only town on the island, Codrington is clear across the lagoon. We had two options - hire a water taxi to take us across, or haul our dink across the spit and motor across. Being somewhat thrifty, we chose the latter.

So we motored down to what appeared to be the narrowest stretch of sand. We hauled the dink up beyond the surf line and climbed the rest of the way up the embankment to survey the task ahead of us. As we turned around we realized that the dinghy was now drifting out to sea. Sten quickly stripped off his clothes and dove in after it. I was paralyzed with laughter as I watched my usually modest husband swim out towards our dinghy, white butt bobbing along for all (the fish, me and a few birds circling overhead) to see. The great white hunter with his prize:

Once we’d dragged the dinghy across to the lagoon we were wondering what had possessed us to buy such a large one and complement it with such a heavy engine. Moments later, as we motored into the sharp wind chop in the lagoon we were glad we’d gone for such a solid set-up. We just need to get those dinghy wheels installed.

We hauled up our dinghy next to the local fishing boats (one of these things does not belong . . . .) and wandered into Codrington to clear into both Barbuda and Antigua.

After clearing in with Immigration, we were sent down to Mr. John’s house to clear in with Customs. As chickens scratched in his front yard we gathered on his front porch to fill out our paperwork and pay our fees. Afterwards we wandered around looking for lunch. Although it was only 11am, we were both hungry and thirsty from the dinghy pull. One of the officers from Immigration offered to walk us over to a local restaurant. We sat down to a simple but tasty meal of baked chicken and fried fish, in some much appreciated AC.

After lunch, and hauling the dinghy over the spit again, we both needed a swim. We went snorkeling on a spot of coral breaking a mile or so to leeward of where we were anchored. At first visibility was was not so great with somewhat limited visibility and a good sized surface chop. Fish life was strong but the coral was mostly dead from a hurricane. Sten saw a good sized reef shark (I’m glad I didn’t see it) and we both saw two large spotted eagle rays, which was a first for us, and very cool.

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