Description & main attractions
As the most easterly of the Lesser Antilles, Barbados is the nearest landfall for yachts crossing the Atlantic on the traditional tradewind route. The only cruising area is along the sheltered west coast, which is dotted with tourist resorts. The east coast, exposed to the Atlantic breakers, is wild and inaccessible, with strange rock formations along its beaches; it should be given a wide berth.
The island has a developed tourist industry, benefiting from good air links. Facilities for yachts are centered in Carlisle Bay, the main anchorage.
The Careenage, a once derelict fishing harbour in the centre of the capital Bridgetown, has been converted into an attractive marina. The perfectly enclosed basin is approached via an opening bridge which has an opening of about 6 metres.
In the eastern part of the commercial harbour, in an area known as the Shallow Draught Harbour, the new Barbados 50 Marina was opened in February 2016. The 600 ft (180 m) long dock will be able to accommodate between 30 and 35 boats depending on size. A nearby building is housing customs and immigration offices so that entry formalities can be completed easily on arrival.
Port St Charles on the northwest coast of the island is a deluxe development surrounding a man-made lagoon and caters primarily for superyachts, although its clearance facility may be used by any boat making landfall in Barbados.
The pre-Columbian population of Barbados were probably Arawaks, but the first European settlers in the seventeenth century were British.
Due to the island’s position it never changed hands, unlike its Caribbean neighbours. Barbados became independent in 1966 and has maintained its independent stance towards the rest of the Eastern Caribbean by resisting suggestions to join a federation, and insisting on having its own currency. The island will celebrate fifty years of independence in 2016.
Barbados has a tropical climate, with high average temperatures throughout the year but cooled by the constant tradewinds. The tropical season is from June to November, but as the island is farther south, it is rarely hit by hurricanes. June to January is the rainy and humid season.
Host marina / Port information
Yachts taking part in the Odysseys will finish their transatlantic crossing and be berthed either in the Careenage right in the heart of Bridgetown, or in a new marina in the Shallow Draft facility of Bridgetown Harbour, that was opened in February 2016.
Location on the map
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