Sun 4 Dec 2011 05:58
We spent our evening ashore, put the dinghy in the mini marina, and went strolling the Basse Terre mini town. Friday night, party night! What a noise :) We were lucky that the enormeous cruise ship had left at sunset, so we had the whole town for ourselves :) Ended up at the local chinese, and after very nice diner we were later again allowed by security to our dinghy.
We tried to leave this morning before 10am for the short trip to Statia, St Eustatius.. Just 20 miles. Calm sea, 5 knots sailing, nice :)
On starboard afar we could see St Barths, and in front of us Statia and also afar Saba, behind us Nevis, beatiful!
Like for Nevis we had done the clearance online to speed up the process, haha, and we assumed for the dutch mini staat St Eustatius this would go easy.
Close to St Eustatius is a 800m long reef extending into sea, not very shallow, but lots of buoys indicated something we shouldn't be messing with, so we took a wide turn, and sailed with one tack to Oranjestad.
Anchored, went to shore and we were welcomed by fisherman in both english and dutch. Upto customs, who are in a seacontainer on the start of this under construction pier.
No, he did not know of an online clearing system, so we fill out the forms by hand. No problem, nice guy. We leave customs and walk onto the main land, but are stopped by the port authority. She tell us kindly to walk safely on the pedestrian path, and says that she leaves at 1800, but that we will be able to get back to our dinghy later. Three kind persons already out of three!
We walk a few hundred meters past small nice looking bar/restaurants/hotels, slowly for G, and each cardriver, passenger, kid, they all wave or smile when they are passing us :)
We turn right up the hill, very, very steep, an pld cobble stone road, old slave road It's called. After 6 stops we are welcomed by a man. We pass the old fort, and look for a bank or supermarket. Nothing. We pass a bar, and we are welcomed. Even the baby is already welcomed, so we drink something while G can take a rest. A tall rasta with hair almost touching the street joins us when we leave, to walk us further up the hill indicating two mini markets. His children are in holland, two of them, and another one in Canada. No, he never sees them, he shakes our hands and of we go. And every person we pass, driving, walking or sitting, they all smile and salute! What a difference!!!