Nevis - April
Mike and Liz Downing
Wed 15 Apr 2009 02:41
Having left St Martin heading south back to Nevis, a distance of about 80 miles, it was a good easterly wind and we made 6.5 to 7.5 kts - a really good start. Then the cruise liner 'The Liberty of the Seas' came into view, approaching St Martin. She is one of the largest ships afloat at 1,112ft long - too big to go through the Panama Canal. It had a CPA (closest point of approach) to us of only a mile, which is a bit tight when it was coming towards us at an angle and changing direction. A radio call to the liner confirmed that she would pass behind us (assuming they had correctly identified us - we hoped they had!). This meant that until she fully turned she would be coming directly at us for a while, which she did. We were much relieved when we could see her starboard bow and then the starboard side - she was going to pass behind us - phew!
To get a better angle on the wind we decided to go round the leeward side of Statia this time. It gave a great sail until we did get to the leeward side when the wind came round and it and the wave train were directly on the nose. Hiding behind Statia was a gathering of huge oil tankers, anchored waiting to take on or off load their cargoes. Statia, we discovered, had a huge oil storage facility on it's western shores. Once past the oil tankers it was a hard slog all the way down the west coast of St Kitts, with winds up to 27kts on the nose. When approaching Ballast Bay on the south west coast of St Kitts the sun was dipping below the horizon and we gave in, deciding to anchor there for the night. It was well sheltered from the effects of wind and sea and a very peaceful night, apart from the wind still howling. We headed for Nevis, only 7 miles or so away, first thing the next day.
Nevis with the conical summit covered in cloud, as it is most of the time.
Nevis is a dormant volcano with just one mountain - Mount Nevis! People live around the coast line and there is just one small town - Charlestown. The area around the slopes of Mount Nevis are cultivated and were the home of a number of plantations. These have been renovated as small retreat hotels and are high enough up the mountain side to get a good breeze.
Nevisian duck pond! (Remnants of the sugar cane industry)
Heritage plantation guest rooms
A large weeping fig 350 years old, at one of the plantations