We arrived last season at Barbados from Ascension. In theory you are supposed to tie to the wall inside the harbor for check-in, then proceed to the anchorage. We did this without problem but it is in amongst all the cruise
ships and somewhat tight maneuvering. We heard of other vessels that anchored and dinghied in but do not have first-hand experience. We can report that tied to the wall no one came to visit us, we had to visit all the offices.
in Carlisle Bay is the typical cruiser hangout. The bay is very wide open, anchorage tends to be toward the north and there is some reasonable depth water
that extends a fair way from shore (with one deep hole in the center of that reasonable area). The closer you are to shore the more music
(JetSkis) you will have, but also less roll. The bay does get somewhat crowded, for a sail only approach you may be a bit offshore
anyway, depends on your comfort level sailing amongst anchored boats. Do look at the charts
, the big open area that looks great for anchoring
in the center of the fleet is the deep area
Overall we enjoyed Barbados, but the anchorage and the noise
did turn us off a bit. Buses are reasonably frequent and easy to get around. Water
can be had in the marina basin inside Carlisle Bay (also where most people land a dinghy) but it is probably half-a-mile from the anchorage area to the inner basin where most people tie the dinghy/get water. There are a couple of markets near the inner basin for good fresh produce and basic groceries. Buses to get to the bigger supermarkets. Prices are generally first world.
There are a couple of other areas along the west coast
where you can anchor
, but they are few. There is also a marina at the north end (can't recall
the name) where you can check-in, but not much anchoring opportunity (from what we heard only, we did not visit).
We preferred the Union Island area, getting into Clifton under sail might be a challenge - but that's where you'd need to go for formalities. Our favorite at this end of the Caribbean
was Chatham Bay on Union Island. No facilities (a couple of beach restaurants), easy approach, not too crowded, great anchorage.