Warm, steady winds, an interesting coastline with safe harbours, and a protective wall of coral reef. The characteristics that persuaded Admiral Nelson to choose Antigua as the base for Great Britain's Caribbean Fleet in 1784, now make it one of the Caribbean's most sought-after tourist destinations.
The trade winds that once blew British battleships safely into English Harbour now fuel one of the world's foremost maritime events, Sailing Week. The expansive, winding coastline that made Antigua difficult for outsiders to navigate is where today's hikers can discover a miles of secluded, powdery-soft beaches.
The coral reefs that were once the bane of marauding enemy ships now attract snorkellers and scuba divers from all over the world. And the fascinating, small neighbouring island of Barbuda - once a scavenger's paradise because so many ships wrecked on its reefs - is now home to one of the Caribbean's best known bird sanctuaries.
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