Barbados - Profile
- Barbados is the easternmost island of the Lesser Antilles, the nearest landfall for yachts crossing the Atlantic on the trade wind route. It was a British colony for 300 years until independence in 1966. It is a stable and relatively prosperous country with a healthy tourist industry.
- Being to windward of the other Lesser Antilles few yachts beat their way against the prevailing trade winds to visit Barbados. The cruising yachts that call in Barbados usually arrive after a long passage either from the Canaries or Cape Verdes across the North Atlantic or when sailing up from Brazil and the South Atlantic and make a stop before sailing on elsewhere.
- Yachting facilities in Carlisle Bay, Bridgetown, the main anchorage, are very basic and clearing in here can be complex. Repair facilities however are good.
- There is a new marine facility at Port St Charles on the NW coast of the island. Centred around a man-made lagoon, this is a deluxe development catering primarily for super-yachts, but yachts who find the approach to Barbados much better around the north end can clear simply here.
- The only cruising area is along the sheltered west coast; the east coast is rocky and exposed to the Atlantic breakers and should be given a wide berth.
- Most boats make their landfall on the SE coast of Barbados, which is easily detectable at night by the strong loom of the airport lights.
Cruisers who visit Barbados tend to report that they find the island very welcoming and safe. You won't find any boat-boys here, just honest fishermen and friendly people.
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.
The Caribbean Safety and Security Net (email@example.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.
The Caribbean Security Index (CSI) is a a tool to assist cruisers in assessing the probability of crime at ports and anchorages throughout the Caribbean. The CSI provides a means of assessing risk in a given area.
Also be sure to check the noonsite Piracy & Safety Pages
Last updated January 2017.
Barbados Weather: www.barbadosweather.org
Barbados has a tropical climate, although as the island is further south, it rarely is hit by hurricanes. June to January is the rainy and humid season.
For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page.