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Jewel in The Atlantic

A testing Windward Passage ahead of us

We are really looking forward to seeing Dad, Jude, Matthew, Clare, Nate and 10 week old Casper. It was a tough 16 hour overnight beat into the Trades to Barbados. 30-40kt winds for over 2 hours, and an average of 25kts, made it a lively sail to say the least. Freddie still managed a good nights sleep! At around 100nm away from the nearest other island in the Lesser Antilles, Barbados is strictly an 'Atlantic' Island rather than a part of the Windward chain. 21 miles long by 14 miles wide and home to nearly 300,000 people it has a high population density. Tourism is a fine art here but underneath the facade this is an island with a unique and facinating history from the Amerindians, Awaraks, Caribs, Portuguese, Poor White then African Slavery, Abolition, rebellion and emancipation, through to self determination and full Independence from the British in 1966. It is home to the friendliest people in the Caribbean. Happy within themselves, self assured, polite and courteous, proud of their country, history and lifestyle. This is clear from the moment you arrive. A 98% literacy rate is the envy of other countries in the region and although the national debt/GDP is creeping uncomfortably high, the political establishment has integrity, boasts one of the worlds oldest liberal democractic systems and has the first female premier, Mia Mottley, in the Caribbean. Even the customs and immigration officials are friendly and helpful despite the usual 'round the houses' check in procedure.

The Inner Careenage Basin, Bridgetown

There's only one designated visiting yacht anchorage and you have to WhatsApp coordinates to an official for permission to anchor elsewhere. A reply may never come! Hardly any yachts come here unless they are on route across the Atlantic from Europe. I think were going to like it here.....

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