Well what a contrast to St Kitts, St Barts is as
wealthy as St Kitts is poor. St Barts is a french run island, because it is very
rocky and craggy sugarcane was never grown here and hence there was no
slavery. In fact St Barts used to be owned by Sweden but was sold to the French
because they didn't know what to do with the place. It remained a a
scrubby undeveloped island until the 1960's when tourism really took off.
Now the streets of the main/ only town, Gustavia, are lined with designer
clothes stores and expensive restaurants and the harbour is packed with
The island is edged with a multitude of bays and
white sand beaches, these are backed by small boutique hotels, strict planning
control has prevented the building of large intrusive hotels so the whole place
has a very exclusive feel,
and it's likely to stay that way . Food and drink
is very expensive I paid the princely sum of 7 Euros for a lettuce, we ate
every last leaf !
We spent 5 days on the island and were pursuaded by
our young friends to hire quad bikes to explore. It was great fun and a good way
to see the place, though there were some very steep hills which Ray took great
pleasure in whizzing up and down , the marks on Ray's skin where I was holding
on for dear life have only just disappeared. Apart from that activity the days were spent anchored in the
beautiful secluded Anse de Colombier swimming and snorkeling with the
turtles in crystal clear water. The evenings were spent eating and
drinking with Alan and Emilie from Starfire (25ft Sadler) and
another couple who own 'Northern Child' a 50 ft Swan, that they run as
a charter business and who also participated in the ARC. Both crews know
how to produce a mean meal.
Having officially declared ourselves bankrupt we
head off to the duty free haven of St Martins to reprovision ready for our
overnight passage to the BVI's.
Just for Phils information the knives have been
removed from the draw sharpened and thankfully returned without being used in
anger, I won't say by whom. We are still searching for the meaning of life, I
think it could take awhile.