We had to motor-sail here yesterday as the winds were light and we wanted to make it by mid-afternoon. Amazingly in the 30 miles or so between Antigua and Barbuda the sea was rarely more than 25 metres deep, ideal fishing depths or so we thought. Six hours of trolling the line behind us yielded nothing when just as we were approaching the reef surrounding Barbuda the line started whizzing .... we'd got a bite! Paul sprang into action reeling it in whilst I dug out the "despatching" gear. As he reeled it in closer we could see it was a pretty big fish, possibly a wahoo or barracuda. He had it almost landed on the deck and identified as a barracuda (well over two feet long) when it managed to bite through the line, or the line snapped, and flopped back into the water. Damn! It was floating on the surface so we turned the boat to go back and hook it out but by then it was gone, complete with yet another one of our lures.
We took a boat tour of the world's biggest frigate bird colony in Codrington lagoon yesterday afternoon. These birds migrate from the Galapagos every year to breed in Barbuda with over 20,000 birds being here. The males have red sacks underneath their throats which they can inflate to attract the females. Our guide got us up close and personal .... the smell of guano was strong ... and explained quite a bit about the history of the island. It was leased to a guy called Codrington back in the late 1700s who ran it it as a plantation, supplying food to his other sugar plantations in Barbados and Antigua. The workers were very hardworking and didn't need an overseer, and when Codrington left the island the local people were given the land. The entire island is still owned by the community and has maintained the tranquility of this remote place.
After a very rolly night we woke to a stunning sunrise this morning.
We're heading around to the south coast of Barbuda today to Spanish Point and hopefully a calmer anchorage. The snorkeling is meant to be good so we're looking forward to exploring the underwater world.