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By No owner — last modified Nov 13, 2017 10:45 AM

 Antigua & Barbuda - Profile

Facts

Hurricane Irma – the most powerful Atlantic hurricane in recorded history – ploughed over the top of Antigua and Barbuda in early September 2017. The Category 5 storm had sustained wind speeds of at least 185mph and gusts over 200mph. Barbuda was rendered uninhabitable: the entire population of Barbuda was evacuated to Antigua. Rebuilding efforts on Barbuda are slow.

Some of the worst affected Caribbean islands include Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, British Virgin Islands (BVIs), St Martin and St Barts.

Hurricane Relief, Support & Resources

22/10/2017: Information for yachts bringing aid supplies to Antigua.

Antigua & Barbuda Facts

  • English Harbour is one of the most picturesque harbours in the world with a full range of facilities and marinas. Nelsons Dockyard within English Harbour is now an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • April and May are the busiest time, towards the end of the winter season, when cruising boats arrive on their way home either to Europe or North America, and racing enthusiasts turn up for Antigua Sailing Week held every year at the end of April.
  • Barbuda is about 30nm north of Antigua, isolated and difficult to navigate. For this reason not many yachts go there, however the magnificent beaches and colonies of Frigate birds are not to be missed.

Security

There were a couple of break-ins reported by boats on the hard at Jolly Harbour Marina at the end of 2016. See reports adjacent for details.

Based on reports to noonsite from cruisers, petty theft from yachts is on the rise in the Caribbean in general. Cruisers should take basic safety precautions and use common sense when leaving the boat or going ashore at night. Dinghy thieves operate throughout the Caribbean and best advice is to place your dinghy on deck and chain it overnight.

There have been reports of voilent crime against yachties in Antigua over the past few years, with the use of weapons. Whilst these appear to be isolated incidents, visiting cruisers should be careful and avoid walking alone after dark.

The Caribbean Safety and Security Net (safetyandsecuritynet@gmail.com) provides information by anchorage or by island, so sailors can plan their cruising in the Caribbean with an eye to appropriate behaviour and precautions wherever they decide to go. Should you have suffered a boarding, robbery or attack on your yacht or have information about a yachting-related security incident, go to the CSSN homepage and click on the "Report an Incident" icon. The associated form is quick and simple to complete and ensures that all the necessary details are reported. The CSSN is the most comprehensive source of Caribbean security incidents against sailors. Remember, it is every cruiser's responsibility to ensure that incidents are reported. Also cruisers can subscribe to e-mail alerts, follow on facebook and twitter and listen to the SSB Voice Service.

Also be sure to check the noonsite Piracy & Safety Pages

Last updated March 2017.


A.B.S.A.R. (Antigua Barbuda Search and Rescue)
Antigua
Tel:+1(286)725 5044 or (286)562 1234 Fax:+1 (286) 463 3236
Emergency Contacts and Services

Weather

Antigua has a tropical climate, but is very dry with a rainy season from September to November. The hurricane season is from July to November.

Weather forecast information is broadcast on VHF channel 06 at 09:00 Mon-Fri and sometimes at weekends.

http://www.antiguamet.com/
Antigua and Barbuda Meteorological Office providing public weather forecasts for Antigua & Barbuda, the Leeward Islands and the BVIs.

For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page.

Main Ports

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Pclubbe
Pclubbe says:
Nov 12, 2017 10:53 AM

We are returning to Antigua in December. Many times we have visited Barbuda , this year with the devestation caused I was considering guving it a miss . Is anyone aware of restrictions sailing there , as may just do a quick 30 mile trip and moor overnight without landing at Coco point. Was also concerned over the approach with shifting sands?

rochero
rochero says:
Jun 09, 2016 10:18 PM

Anchoring in Antigua: Non such Bay (green Island) is one of the most beautiful anchorage in the area: Easy entrance by the south, excellent protection from the swell and a lot of room for everyone. Going out through the north channel is quite easy as the channel is well defined. However, we have been disappointed by the north sound: The most beautiful beach on Long island (Jumby bay) is 100% private and used by a huge resort and private villas. We got evicted from the beach by a security guard...too bad for the kids. Great bird island is OK but some guides talk about amazing snorkelling. We have been disappointed.

rochero
rochero says:
Jun 09, 2016 10:13 PM

Clearance is easy but bureaucratic in English HArbour. However, if you plan to clear out in Barbuda, be armed with patience as you have to visit several places, most of the time closed at the open hours ! However, BArbuda is a paradise: Cocoa Point is nice and protected. Low Bay is gorgeous, as long as the swell does not come in. Don't miss the visit to the fregate birds sanctuary with a local guide. You will learn a lot about the island and the local culture. Locals are very proud of their island and they deserve to be respected: It is forbidden to go by yourself with the dinghy to the sanctuary and we witnessed french cruisers going there by themselves and making fun of local guides. What a shame.

Max Terragni
Max Terragni says:
Feb 07, 2016 09:11 PM

Just cleared in English Harbour. 7th February 2016
We are moored in Falmouth, we went ashore with our dinghy and 10 minutes walk we found English Harbour
The custom and immigration office is open Monday to Sunday 8am to 4:45pm.
I suggest to arrive with the eSeaClear form completed already, otherwise there are computers available in the office.
I completed the entire process, custom, immigration and port authority for the cruising permit in less then 30 minutes.
Officers were friendly.

Solcina79
Solcina79 says:
Jan 30, 2016 09:54 PM

The two best places to anchor in Antigua are Falmouth and Jolly Harbour. The last one is beautiful and the water is turquoise and is very good shelter. The east coast is more dangerous because of the stronger winds and surf and the reefs, but Non-Such Bay is worth it.
Barbuda is Paradise and you must anchor at Cocoat Point and enjoy its incredible beach.
Antigua is the base of the huge yachts and is very busy and lively because of the younger crews.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Dec 28, 2014 03:36 PM

Posted on behalf of Erik Roll, SY Senseless (USA):
Just cleared in at Jolly Harbour on 12/20/2014. Process took 3 hours.
3 offices, Customs, Immigration and Port Authority. Official opening hour was 8 am, but only Immigration was there on time. Port Authority was 1 and 1/2 hour late and left after 15 minutes to go for breakfast.
You need to enter all data including crew list into eSeaClear system. Then they print the information out on forms which are signed and manually processed by each department. The officials are friendly and cooperative, but the system is inefficient. Smile you are on Island time.

David Southwell
David Southwell says:
Mar 02, 2014 01:01 PM

Be very careful of customs in English Harbor. One of the Caribbean 600 competitor owners made the mistake of sending his crew to customs and went to the airport- he was fined $5,000 EC for this minor infraction, and made to pay it in cash before the boat was cleared. This has happened to others (see the Jolly Harbor entry in the Cruising Guide). The US consular representative has become involved and described this as extortion. For US cruisers, the consular representative is helpful.

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