Saturday, February 18, 2012

Rocks and Reefs

Photo taken from Chris Doyle's Leeward Islands
A few weeks before Earthling sailed to Antigua, I went over the charts and saw a beautiful land, shaped with many nice coves and protected anchorages. At that time, we were anchored in an uncomfortable rolly anchorage somewhere else and could not wait to be in a calm and comfortable place. It has been 20 days since we got here to Antigua and we have almost sailed around the island and anchored in various places. Almost everywhere we anchored has been comfortable.

Right now we are in Nonsuch bay and this anchorage definitely exceeded my expectations. There is no land in front of us but we are protected by natural break walls, reefs.  As you surf in on the north entrance of Nonsuch bay on 8-10 ft swells, you see them breaking over a long line of reefs. Behind the reefs, the water is almost flat. This bay is very large and there is room for thousands of boats to anchor. In addition, there are mooring balls available free of charge.

Kelly Standing on the Devil's Bridge
Now that the outboard is working, exploring has less limitations. Yesterday, we took the dinghy to Devil’s Bridge on the north east side of Nonsuch bay. This is a place worth seeing. It’s a 25ft cliff where the rock on one side is divided from the other and the swells go underneath, like a bridge. According to Devon, a local we met there; in the old days, slaves tried to flee from the island and would come here, where they realized there was no more land and would fall off into the sea from the crashing waves. Which is how they got the name Devil’s Bridge.

Antigua’s northern and eastern coast is lined by reefs. Some of the channels bringing you through these reefs can be tricky and thrilling. On our way from Jumby Bay by Long Island to Nonsuch Bay we went through Bird Island Channel. Imagine, you are in 30-40ft of water and suddenly it drops down to 10ft and you have coral heads sticking out of the water a few feet from you. Now, the swells are coming against you, lifting you up and down and at one point the depth shows a foot below keel! That is nerve racking. I would not recommend this channel if you are on a larger boat and draw more than 6ft. I don’t know if I dare going through it again!!
Our visit in Antigua will last a few more days and the next Island waiting for us is Guadeloupe.

Love from Rocks and Reefs

Check out the photo album of Antigua on Earthling's fb page


  1. Ah, I envy you that particular trip! So sad we MISSED that fun trip to Devil's Bridge when we were there. Regards to all, including ZTC - we miss you guys - you all enriched our lives! Sharon, currently in USVI/BVI aboard Finally Fun

  2. Have fun in USVI/BVI. We miss you and sad that we didn't get to see you!