Anse du Corossol, Gustavia, St Barthelemy (St Barts)
Position: 17:54.334N 62:51.606W
Date: Sunday 19th January 2014
Much as we had enjoyed Saba the trip from the boat to the port and back again by small dinghy was a little too hair-raising to do too often. Also the weather was starting to turn so all the indicators pointed to it being time to move on. So on Saturday 18th we slipped our mooring buoy and made towards the island of St Barthelemy usually shortened to St Barts, or St Barth. This entailed a journey almost directly into the wind for a distance just short of 30 miles. Incredibly we had not had a sustained period of sailing hard on the wind since leaving The Canaries over a year before so it came as a bit of a shock to the system. The wind blew at over 20 knots and the seas were very bumpy so by the time we dropped anchor just outside the port of Gustavia on St Barts we were feeling just a little beaten up.
St Barts is a French island and it is incredibly chic. Gustavia is the main harbour and its inner port is stuffed full of very large and expensive motor yachts, all neatly lined up stern to the quay with their crews running around in smartly pressed uniforms. The town itself is packed with all sorts of hyper expensive shops selling designer clothes, jewellery and all the associated bling that goes with this. If you want a uniquely pimped up Rolex to match your vajazzled underpants then this is your kind of place. Having said that it is architecturally quite a charming town with a number of buildings displaying their Swedish heritage. The anchorage outside was packed with hundreds of yachts and at first we found it difficult to find somewhere to drop our hook. We eventually found a spot right at the back of the other anchored boats off the Anse du Corossol. Given that it is a very rolly anchorage, not really well protected at all plus the fact that close by there are some alternative wonderful places to stop then it is difficult to understand why so many boats seem to prefer it.
Here’s Eileen standing near to one of the large motor yachts in Gustavia inner harbour:
Being a French island the checking in process was quite simple even though it meant another struggle with a computer that had a confusingly idiosyncratic French keyboard. Our original plan after completing the formalities was to go around to a nearby anchorage, but we couldn’t miss the opportunity to dig in to the local supermarkets with their stocks of such wonderful French foods. I’ve mentioned this before in earlier log entries but, with very few exceptions, the standard of foodstuffs sold on the French islands is head and shoulders above that which you can find in the islands with a British heritage. This may be related to the fact that the French islands are still part of France receiving considerable support from the mother country, whereas the others are nearly all now independent countries with a heavy USA cultural influence.