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Date: 13 Apr 2011 01:32:05
Title: Gustavia - St Barts Island

12:04.11,  17.54.31N 62:51.51W
 
This morning we were up bright and early to head to Gustavia which is the main town on St Barts which is another of the French islands, it was only an hours sail from Ile Fourchou so we got here by half nine.  There was a nice light breeze this morning so we decided to sail off the mooring buoy rather than put the engine on - it's one of those things you learn to do but once you're out sailing you get into a routine using the engine to get in and out of everywhere. . . .  so we thought we'd practice - I don't know why but there is something really nice about just putting up the sails and slipping away silently to the next place. . . . . . .
 
We've spent the day having a look around Gustavia, it's a really small place and quite sleepy - its very quaint but quite smart, with lots of little posh french shops, there are some nice old buildings.  It is a small port but mainly pleasure boats, we've only seen one fishing boat and it isn't big enough for ships.    I am not sure who buys all the Rolexes and designer clothes that the shops are selling as there doesn't seem to be enough people here!
 
We are anchored just outside of the harbour - the water here is amazingly clear and blue.  About 500 metres from where we are anchored are some little rock islands that we're hoping to go and dive around tomorrow.   I am hoping that we'll be able to do some good dives - when we were walking around the harbour in town just off the quay we saw lots of a fish called Tarpon hiding under the boats - some of them were 2ft long - hope that we see some on the dive sites and that they're not just all hiding in the harbour, I've never seen them in the water on a dive so it was wierd to see gangs of them sitting around about 2ft away from land. 
 
Went for a walk up the hill to the site of an old fort just out of town - and found this (below) wandering about on the path up to the fort - never seen one with orange feet before  -  I love tortoises could have spent half an hour just watching his determined progress up the path, tortoises always look old, I think it is the face that does it.  He wasn't that slow though, by the time we had spent 10 mins looking at the view from the top of the hill tortoise appeared at the top and ambled off into the grass. 
 
 
Here are some views around the very well kept town - it almost feels un-Caribbean since it is just a bit too tidy - Some French people we knew who are sailing over here said that St Barts is the Monte carlo of the Caribbean, can't comment on that as have never been to Monte Carlo. . .  but it is quite a nice sleepy little place (although with some very expensive shops) - especially a good change from busy St Martin.
 
High street. . . .
 
 
Me modeling a very big anchor
 
Old Clock tower
 
Church
 
The entire town and harbour from the old site of Fort Karl

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