Steve & Carol
Wed 23 May 2018 08:48
Well what a rolly anchorage it is we are only staying here one day – it really was too rolly to launch the dinghy until about 10.30 when there was a short reprieve from the constant motion and so we quickly launched it and went ashore, heading to customs and immigration to check in and out in one go – we managed to check in with customs but there was no one from Immigration available so we were told to return at 1pm, as we need US$ to check out we were allowed to walk up into the town without immigration clearance so we had 2 hours - not long enough to go up the volcano but time to wander around town and the fort.
St Eustatius (Statia) was once the trade capital of the Caribbean, it was a free port so countries who couldn't trade with each other could trade with Statia, goods produced elsewhere were given Statian papers and sold on, making it one of the worlds busiest harbours , in it’s day the coastal area below the cliffs was busy with warehouses and shops, today it’s mainly ruins, although they have restored a couple of buildings. It seems to still be quite busy with commercial ships anchored further out in the bay, there is a big oil storage facility at the top of the island.
Statia was also a Slave trade centre and this is the old slave road – sadly it was fenced off with an electric fence which didn't stop the goats from using it but we had to walk the long way around.
The town isn't like other Caribbean places we have been to it must be the Dutch influence- it’s a strange place which appears to only have one shop!
Humming bird, wrong camera lens though.
We had time to visit the Fort Oranje on the cliffs overlooking the bay.
Goats inside the fort eating mangos.
On return to customs and immigration we both checked in and out and paid the harbour fees of $35 – quite an insult considering how uncomfortable the place was, we were up at first light to sail to St Martin and didn’t wait for our friends on Alka.