St Kitts is another of the islands that our pilot book describes as “brushing the clouds” as it too has a volcanic peak at its centre. We had a brisk 3 hour sail here from Statia which kept David busy on the sheets while first mate had time to admire the views of our latest island. It is a very green place with rain forest type vegetation on the higher parts and waving fields of sugar cane on the slopes down to the sea. The sugar cane is entirely unharvested now and the very fertile land left uncultivated which seems a great shame. Tourism is an easier way of life if you can get work we guess.
We have spent our time here in the marina of the main town of Basseterre which makes it easier in terms of exploring the area but is hotter than being out at anchor. We watched the boats at anchor from a dockside restaurant on the 2nd night here and were very glad not to be rolling through 20-30 degrees like they all were. It looks so sheltered, but something about the terrain funnels the Atlantic swell around the southern end of the island right into the bay here.
Basseterre town centre:
The town has lots of character with traditional Caribbean architecture and a central square and clock tower called the Circus. The large minibus style taxis gather there and each have bold names or slogans across their bonnets, such as “Caveman” or “God is in Control” as do the local buses. We took a 2½ hour tour of the island yesterday and saw the extent of the cane fields, as well as the numerous ruins of the sugar mills and the elegantly restored plantation houses. We also passed “Bloody Point” where a combined French and British force massacred 2000 of the original Carib inhabitants before resuming the war between themselves. What a lot we have to answer for out here. The people here are friendly but there is obviously quite a lot of poverty and a struggle to find work. It’s pretty lively too however and Friday evening the area near our marina was filled with the aromas of all the street food stalls and barbecues and the loud sounds of the local music scene.
St Kitts rainforest and (R) the nearby batik workshop, producing fantastic fabrics:
We’ve just discovered that 2 of our 5 house batteries have died, so we’ve got to survive on much less power until we can find somewhere affordable to replace them. Thankfully our solar and wind power should be able to ward off this expensive day for a while.