Christopher Columbus landed on Antigua in 1493 and named the island Santa Maria de la. Early Spanish settlement was replaced by English rule from 1632, with a French interlude in 1666. The islands were granted independence from British rule on the 1st November 1981. They remain members of the British. Commonwealth.
Reliable trade winds throughout the season, which runs from December to May, make Antigua and Barbuda a great yacht charter destination. Coral reefs and abundant marine life make for great snorkelling and scuba diving.
Antigua offers all the types of yacht charter; bareboat charter, skippered and crewed yachts, catamaran, sail and motor and super yacht charter.
Antigua has an international airport, with daily flights from many cities throughout the world. The East Caribbean dollar is the official currency but both US Dollars and Euros are used and major credit cards may be accepted in hotels, restaurants and some shops.
Creole cusine predominates on the islands. The national dish of Antigua is fungie and pepper pot. Fungie is a dish almost entirely made from cornmeal and very similar to the Italian polenta. Other local dishes include ducana, seasoned rice, saltfish and lobster from Barbuda. There are also local confectionaries which include: fudge, peanut brittle, raspberry and tamarind stew and sugarcake. Good international cusine is also widely available.
Antigua is home to the famous English Harbour that lies on the island’s southern coast. Nearby Shirley Heights is famous for “Jump Up”, BBQs and punch parties with live music and dancing.
To the east of English Harbour is Falmouth Harbour, major yachting centre in its own right. Home to Nelson’s Dockyard, the only working Georgian dockyard in the world. There is a museum dedicated to Admiral Lord Nelson who used English Harbour as his Caribbean base in the late 18th century. Nelsons Dockyard is an active yachting centre and the bay now has three large marinas and the Antigua Yacht Club.
Green Island, at the mouth of Nonsuch Bay on Antigua’s east shore, offers an unspoilt anchorage.
St. John’s is the capital of Antigua and lies on the islands west coast. Here you will find good provisioning. Five Island Harbour, just south of St. John’s, offers a choice anchorages in which good shelter can be found whatever the winds direction.
Jolly Harbour, on the south coast is a large complex of boatyards, marinas, restaurants, and shops.
Redonda, Antigua’s out-island, lies 30 miles to the southeast. It is completely uninhabited
Barbuda lies 20 miles to the north of Antigua and offers good sailing and a number of lovely anchorages on its west and south sides. Codrington Lagoon is on the west side and is seven miles long with pink sandy beaches. Codrington, Barbuda’s largest town is worth a visit while here. Many other pleasant beaches can be found on the island often covered with shells.
Every April sees the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, hosted by the Antigua Yacht Club. And in May there is the Rolex Antigua Sailing Week. This local sailing week has grown into an international event attracting competitors from the world over and combines top quality yacht racing and an unforgettable social scene.