Montserrat

16:40.116N 062:12.475W
1315 LT  Little Bay, Montserrat
 
We spent nearly a week in Nevis.  Firstly anchored off the beach, then on a mooring near Charlestown where we had to check in (and out later).  We checked out the local shops, bars and restaurants.  Sunshine served up his Stinger Bee cocktails; they were so good that we took a couple of pints of take-aways back to LS. This is Anne and Rods after their first one!
 
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On the Wednesday it was time for Roddy and Anne to leave us and return to London.  We rented a car in the morning and drove around the island.  We visited the fancy Montpellier plantation house (bijou hotel) and the less fancy Golden Rock before ending up back at Oualie Beach, on the land this time, for an early lunch.  Fortunately we saw Chilli there and he promised to deliver the ballyhoo the next day.  It wasn’t to be, but he showed up finally and gave us the paint plus instruction on how to skewer it onto the lure.  With this on the line, big fish are guaranteed!
 
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We also meet a couple of other cruisers waiting, like us, for the weather to improve for the trip south:  John & Jane on Seaduced (Discovery 55) who gave some helpful tips on wifi boosters, and Pip & Heather on Picaroon, a classic ketch with wooden spars, who came aboard and we enjoyed a fun dinner together.  Here’s a picture of the charming waterfront at Charlestown with a rare view of the top of the mountain.  Also the museum which houses an exhibit featuring the Pinney estate – Craig’s forebears.
 
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Come Saturday 0715 we slipped our mooring and set off for Montserrat in good conditions but couldn’t quite make our course under sail and motor-sailed all the way.  In spite of heading into the weather, it was quite comfortable.  We had our lure with ballyhoo out the back and we spent plenty of time crossing over deep drop-offs but failed to catch a thing.  We need Roddy back!
 
Montserrat is the island with a volcano which blew up in 1995 and had remained active, more or less, ever since.  The eruption in 1995 wiped out the main town and covered a large part of the south of the island  in lava and ash and much of the population was evacuated.  Many have returned but only the north of the island is populated, with the southern part remaining off-limits by land and sea.  We had been told that the island was beautiful, the people charming and that we should expect week long celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day so we were looking forward to our visit.  However, Little Bay is a rather uninviting anchorage with black sand beach and quite a swell running.  What’s more there were steep charges for clearing in and out and the local taxi driver quoted us a somewhat inflated price for a quick tour.  And in spite of all the talk of St. Paddy’s Day, the only music coming from the beach was reggae. All in all we weren’t tempted and plumped instead to stay on board.  Sorry Montserrat.