We move to Spanish Point to get better protection from the wind that will increase and turn to the southeast. Although the Atlantic Ocean is on the other side of Spanish Point, it is more protected here than at Cocoa Point because the reef protects the entire southern side of the bay all the way to Cocoa Point. From our anchorage, we see the waves from the Atlantic breaking against the reef and sending large cascades of water high into the air as they hit the outside of Spanish Point.
Spanish Point is a popular anchorage for long-distance sailors and when we come here there are about 15 boats here, about as many as can fit without getting crowded on the anchorage and we find a good place with 2.5 – 3 m of depth. We always try to find an anchorage with a depth between 2.5 – 5 m (at low tide) so that the boat does not move so much from side to side when it sails back and forth behind the anchor. Then we don’t need to put out more than 20-35 m of chain and we know that we are safe with our Spade anchor that weighs 35 kg. We have had up to 60 knots of wind anchored like this without the anchor losing the grip.
Shortly after we anchored, Flying Penguin comes and drops anchor within a short dinghy ride from Sally.
Here at Spanish Point, the beach is rockier and not as inviting as at Cocoa Point and there are only a few places where there is a sandy beach. The reef is quite extensive and there is an inner and an outer reef that together provides great protection against swell and waves.
It is a short way to cross the headland to get to the unprotected side towards the Atlantic. There is no reef and the waves hit the rocky coast with full force. The rock is very eroded and strewn with sharp tips. It takes hard shoes to walk here and you have to be careful not to fall. Then it can probably go really bad and result in large cuts and injuries. But it’s cool nature.
There is a hut on the beach and we saw it used by some fishermen. Several evenings we saw how they navigated into the reef after sunset with their fishing boats and went ashore at the hut and made fire. When we passed by there during the day we could see old mattresses, chairs and a lot of rubbish. It’s a bit sad to see so much rubbish and unfortunately it’s too much for us to bring everything, but we do the best we can and take with us whole glass bottles and as much plastic as we can fit in the storage compartment where we collect our own garbage that we will leave for the garbage truck in Antigua..
In the last week or so, the power plant has failed and had to restart several times before the voltage exceeded the minimum level 209 V. I have tried to find out what can cause this and one reason is that the capacitors used to stabilize the AC voltage out from the power plant have too low capacity. I also learn that the capacity decreases as capacitors age and that the capacity decreases when they are warm.
The box with capacitors is in the engine compartment and there it is always warmer than in the rest of the boat. We need electricity so I try to move the box with capacitors to a cooler place and it helps. Now we can charge the batteries with the power plant again.
We have heard that it should be nice to snorkel at Spanish Point, and of course, the water is clear, preferably towards the outer part of the reef, even if it blows some with waves that break against the reef and make the water more cloudy. We see quite large areas of the reef that look dead and there are only a few fish and very little vegetation. Elsewhere on the reef, there are more plants and animals. Hurricane Irma passed over Barbuda in 2017 and destroyed the island and I can imagine the force of the waves even breaking the reef.
Since we heard about a group of tiger sharks that was sighted at a boat anchored at Cocoa Point when we were there a few days ago, we were very careful when snorkeling. We only stayed in shallow water (maximum 1-2 m and maximum 4 m depth) on the inside of the reef. We also kept much more look behind us and to the sides than we usually do when we snorkel.
Spanish Point sunsets
During our time at Spanish Point, we got to experience very beautiful sunsets with absolutely amazing colors in the sky over Cocoa Point.
It’s time to pick up our new sails that will soon arrive in Antigua and we head back to Falmouth Bay to await delivery. But first, we do a short stay at Cocoa Point again.