Island Trilogy 17:17.4N 62:43.8W
Serenity of Swanwick
Phil and Sarah Tadd
Wed 16 Mar 2016 00:03
We have now visited three of the islands that form a chain to the west of Antigua: Nevis, St Kitts and Statia (Sint Eustatius to give its full name). Unfortunately we missed out Saba, the north most, as it would have then been hard on the wind to get to St Barths. We’ll try to stop there when we return south.
There are huge contrasts between the islands we are visiting, from Barbuda which was flat and surrounded by coral and white sand, to Dominica which was mountainous and tropical. Despite being so close together these three were all different.
Nevis and St Kitts are both English Islands. Nevis is by far the smaller at about 8 miles long, but its only town, Charlestown, was full of beautifully restored colonial buildings which gave it a relatively sophisticated feeling. In southern part of the island, a number of the old plantations had been turned into very smart boutique hotels and there were some expensive looking houses behind walls and security gates. It didn’t feel particularly touristy: the only cruise ships seemed to be very small ones that anchored in the bay.
By contrast St Kitts main town of Basseterre seemed to be dominated by the cruise ship terminal. On the day we arrived there were 3 cruise ships in and the concourse full of gift shops and bars was packed. Behind this the town proper had a couple of attractive squares, but was not anything to write home about. We only stopped one night because the anchorage was very uncomfortable so maybe we didn’t see enough to do it justice.
Statia is the first Dutch island we have visited, and is smaller even than Nevis. The only town of Oranjistad was split into the lower and upper town, but the lower town is now partly ruins except for the port and a few hotels. The north end of the island is home to major oil storage depot, so there was a number of tankers anchored off the island. It probably also added to the wealth of the island. We found Oranjistad to be a bit twee, with painted wooden houses, little picket fences and flowers painted on the public seats. Even the fort was quite twee, though the mountain most certainly wasn’t.
Its a pity we weren’t able to visit Saba, which would have been a further contrast. It is smaller still and just a mountain rising out of the sea with only just enough flat land for a landing strip.
The pictures below are:
1-3 -Charlestown, Nevis
4, Hotel Lodge, Nevis
5, House in Gingerland, Nevis
6-8, Basseterre, St Kitts
9-12, Oranjistad, Statia
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