Mon 22 Mar 2010 15:28
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 superyachts.
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.