Directions and clearing in
If you approach the island from the east with a strong sea, you should definitely pay attention to the south-east reef, here high swell can quickly set in. You can clear in in Bridgetown or in the north-west and exclusive Port St. Charles. If you also navigate with Navionics, you will find ‘Custom Offices’ on the map. We have cleared in the ‘Deep Water Harbor’. The ‘Custom Office’ is located at the southern end of the quay in a pink building and can be reached via VHF channel 12. As usual, the yellow flag should be raised before and during the clarification. Normally only the skipper with the papers (ship documents, crew list, passports) can leave the ship, but we were all able to move freely there in the port area (transit area) with a passport. The clearing procedure itself was somewhat slow. First, it is highly recommended to go to the port early in the morning before the large cruise ships do, usually before 8 a.m. This saves you the first waiting time, because the wealthy guests of the huge ‘stinkpots’ understandably have priority. After a handful of office stations and a few hours you should be able to leave the harbor again in the early afternoon. If you arrive outside the business hours of the ‘Custom Offices’ – first drop anchor in Carl Isle Bay with the yellow-hoisted flag.
Even if you as a tourist are often bluntly addressed on the street from the side, whether you need a taxi or want to get rid of change, you should always be polite. The simple ‘Hi’ is not so popular, but ‘Good Morning, – Afternoon, -Evening’ is better. You should also pay attention to appropriate clothing, especially when entering public facilities. Payment is usually made in Barbados dollars on the island, but you can also pay with US dollars almost anywhere. Prices are often not advertised, so you should inquire beforehand. Overall, groceries are quite expensive here compared to Germany. For milk, butter, bread, meat products, etc., you have to dig deep into your pocket.
For an acceptable annual fee, yachties can anchor directly in front of the ‘Barbados Cruising Club’ and / or moor at a mooring. In the club, in addition to 15% on food and drinks, the shower rooms are available free of charge. The club also has plenty of kayaks that are easy to use. There is a quiz night every Wednesday and live music every Sunday. There is also a laundry nearby.
Getting around the island
Amazingly, despite its manageable size, the island is full of cars. You could easily reach many destinations with bicycles or scooters. However, many of the islanders use public transportation. The larger yellow / blue buses go to and from fixed bus stops, whereby the small white Toyota buses (always draw attention to themselves with horns and like to transport more than 25 people) flexibly collect and let out passengers on their fixed routes. However, the price is the same for all buses – no matter how long the route is: 2 BSD. If you choose a taxi, you should definitely negotiate the price before boarding! For about 4km you usually pay no more than 10 BSD. By the way, ‘Triple One Taxi Service’, Ville Greaves: 246 231-3767, is very friendly and affordable.
Eat, drink, go out
If you don’t have high expectations for the first shore leave and are quickly looking for a beer and a snack, there are smaller ‘local bars’ in the street ‘Sky market’. Often you can get 4 beers for 10 BSD in bars where there are hardly any tourists. TIPS on site: ‘Hunter’s Bar’ & ‘Caribbean Heat Bar’. Tourist trap: ‘Bridge House’ – there is by far the worst food at an outrageous price. Every Friday the whole island meets in ‘Oistins’ on the fish market with grilled food and live music, it is reminiscent of the Hamburg fish market! TIP on site: ‘Uncle George’s Fish Net’. The best way to get to Oistins is by minibus number. 11. If you prefer to prepare the fish yourself and have not caught one, you can also go shopping at the fish market in Bridgetown at the fishing port. Good burgers, wraps and other small snacks can be found in the cruising club. Crawfish and jazz fans get their money’s worth in the ‘Lobster Allive’. If you are looking for discotheques, you will surely find it in ‘St. Lawrence Gap ‘found it towards Oistins. There the audience is mixed. Tourists, on the other hand, stay in the ‘Harbor Lights’, for 50 BSD you can get drinks from 9pm to 3am. Rum fans like that