Position 17:17.55N 62:43.55W
Julian & Anne Whitlock
Sun 28 Nov 2010 00:58
St Kitts/Basseterre 24-25th November
Much more pleasant journey across from Antigua as running with the still strong winds and
large seas. Arrived at Basseterre, the capital of the island, and moored alongside the
outer wall of the 'marina' which had no spare space for a boat of our size inside. Still a very
pleasant welcome from all the staff and efficient booking in system with the officials
in the adjacent cruise ship facilities grandly named Port Zante. The town and its new
facilities appeared an awful lot smarter than when we were last here in 2005 and there
appeared a new affluence which surprised us as their main economy was based on sugar
cane which was effectively killed off by the EC which forbade the UK paying a subsidised
price for the crop. It appears that the new money is coming from the sale of land to overseas
developers and an increase in tourism. One of the most extensive and complex developments
is based on a new superyacht marina with multi million $ housing attached in the hitherto
unspoilt southern tip of the island. We were intrigued to see what they were doing and how
far it had progressed as it involved connecting a large landlocked salt pond of some hundred
acres to the sea. Apart from some very posh signs at the site there was little signs of the equipment
and personel needed to carry out such a massive engineering task. They had made a cut to join
the lake to the sea but apart from one very small dredger and a couple of large diggers there
was nothing else visible. We guess that the salt pond was very shallow so to dredge such an area
to accept any sailboats let alone super yachts is a task not dissimmilar in scale to the Aswan dam
so we are dubious as to it's completion.
We revisited a couple of places we had been previously and were delighted to find them as
impressive as before. The first was the Brimstone Hill Fort. A massive area of 17th and 18th
century fortifications on multi levels built on an old volcanic mound close to the western shore.
It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site putting it on a par with the Taj Mahal and Pyramids!
We had an absolutely superb buffet lunch at the Rawlins Plantation which was the second
of our 'revisits'. The old plantation house is surrounded by beautiful gardens and with
an incredible view from its verandas over the channel to Sint Eustatius. A little run down
from its former glories but the staff and food and views were all perfect.