2 January at St Barth

Ocean Science's blog
Glenn Cooper
Mon 2 Jan 2017 18:18
Hello dear readers

We are still at the mooring outside Gustavia, a cliff above us with wild goats picking their way here and there, and tropic birds nesting in holes in the rock.

A quick swim after breakfast, with goggles and flippers kindly supplied by the management. An impressive dive by Aileigh off the rail at the bow, the rest of us jumped in or - really wimpy - used the diving platform at the stern.

It is Charlie's birthday today. Things will happen to mark the occasion. We are fresh out of Veuve Cliquot, but a bottle of posh Waitrose prosecco has come to light, and we might force that down

Motored into Gustavia last night, to do various things including a taxi to the airport where there is a service station (I think it might be the only one on the island). We needed fuel for our tender. The airstrip is one of the most hazardous in the world. Not quite a hairy as the one in Nepal, but it is in the same category, and pilots need special training and, if they survive, regular practice. There is a mountain at one end of the short airstrip. An approaching plane has to clear the mountain, go into a steep dive and then flatten out, with nose up, to touch down at the near end of the runway. At that point slowing down become quite important, as there is a beach at the other end. There were crowds of spectators on the mountain, watching the fun. The service station is on a road parallel with the runway, and separated from it by some sturdy chicken wire. When a plane lands it is like being in the pits at Le Mans. There are some crosses on the mountain to remind us of those who did not make it.

Food news - breakfast this morning was a Catalan feast - toast, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, followed up with "Glennbolade" i.e. Glenn's home made marmalade for grown-ups. A dark colour and chunks as big as a child's finger. Last night Josh was BBQ maestro, jerk chicken, sausages, potatoes boiled with herbs.

I was hoping to post a picture of the crew and maybe other stuff, but we are still having a problem with photos, The crew are:
Glennbo (skipper)
Gregor (blogster and Just the Cook)
Josh and Aileigh, collectively Jaileigh
Gabriel and Charlie

Gustavia seemed fairly neat and tidy after the heavy duty partying of NYEve. They do a posh line in garbage, empty magnums of champagne on the lawn, not a can of lager in sight. There is huge row of The Boats That Taste Forgot at the main quay, but there are even bigger ones that have to moor outside the harbour. We are parked right among them. Josh says it is like being surrounded by Bond Villains. One of them allegedly houses the well known Russian bloke who owns Chelsea FC, and rumour has it that the Stones were at his party. Unfortunately we are not on wifi at the moment and the invitation could have been misdirected. Or sadly, it could be NFI

au revoir from this jewel in the Caribbean Sea, time for a snorter before lunch.