St Barth to St Kitts
Ocean Science's blog
Tue 3 Jan 2017 21:44
St Barths feels more like an international enclave for well-off people with
boats, and their friends. At the restaurant we went to this evening (see
below) we tried to count black faces - we got no further than zero, out of
maybe 250 people. The vicar of the Anglican church here is an old Etonian.
The main shopping street is Bond Street beside the sea - Hermes, Gucci,
Cartier - you name it and they are in St Barths and no doubt selling stuff to
the rich folks. But it is an attractive place, with a friendly open feel
For a birthday drinkiepoo for Charlie we taxied it over the other side of
the island. To the Ile de France hotel, a swanky joint on a little sandy
bay. Ultra cool. I can imagine people arriving by plane going straight to
the hotel still trembling with fear after the landing,and heading to the bar
for an urgent bracer. You can get cocktails there for as little as 25
Continuing our celebrations we schlepped back into town and clocked in to a smart restaurant - La Bagatelle, where we tucked into things like lobster (Jayleigh) slow cooked lamb etc etc. Washed down with a few bots of St Joseph (Cotes du Rhone doncha know)
One present for Charlie's birthday was a bag of balloons with little lights inside and "Happy Birthday" on the outside. We blew up a nice red one for the trip home in the tender. On the way back the engine on the tender conked out completely; it had been walking wounded for a while but it finally died. This left 6 of us in a little inflatable drifting in the middle of a channel, like a wounded turtle among sharks. We had quite a long session of paddling (aaargh!) and Ocean Science was still over a mile away. The glowing red balloon and some concerted shouting (the birthday girl has an impressively loud voice) brought us to attention of a passing boat. Two nice French guys from St Martin in a monster power launch. They hauled us aboard and took our dud tender in tow, squirted a lever or two and within a few minutes we were back on board our home. They then throbbed off with a cheery wave.
A large JW Black Label and in my case a cigar eased the pain. Next morning (Tuesday) we lifted the tender on to the davits at the stern, where it now hangs in disgrace. Like the locomotive in the Thomas the Tank Engine stories (Edward?) who was bricked up in a tunnel for bad behaviour.
Off early to St Kitts, a beam reach all the way for about 8 hours, sailing on genoa and aft main. More anon on St Kitts, where we have just arrived, parked alongside the quay in a small marina in the capital Basseterre. High peaks on the island, with rain forest and shrouds of white clouds. The New Year carnival is still in full swing with live reggae music booming out from somewhere on shore. We will investigate. We are told that this is a true "Caribbean" island with vibrant local life. It certainly sounds that way. Will advise later.
Some progress on the photo front, involving bodge-ups with iPhones. First one up is Aileigh and Charlie hard at work on deck and someone’s smalls in the background.