Sun 7 Feb 2010 20:37
No marina and no anchoring - you have to use the nature reserve mooring buoys as this island is one volcano with vertical sides. The old customs house is close by our mooring and you used to have to climb 400 steps straight up to reach it. This was the bad weather landing point! The good weather point - Fort Baie, now has a small harbour arm to make it easier and we cleared customs and immigration with the harbourmaster there.
The nature reserve gives you a free whistle in case of emergencies while walking.
What a place this is - The Bottom (cos its in a 'Botte' - Dutch for dish) is the lowest village - a massive uphill slog from the harbour. All the houses are pretty, most with matching colours.
Village of St John's
This house on its own is a really really cute holiday cottage. We looked longingly at the details as it has a bath and we haven't had one since November (do they rent by the hour?)
If you can remember the fantastic scenery from the last King Kong - that was filmed here.
The island is so steep that its Dutch owners could not find an engineer to design and build a road on it. We thought that if looking for an engineer to build a road on a volcano a Dutchman might not be the first choice! A local - Lambee Hassell took a correspondence course in road building and then, under his supervision the Sabans built the road with their own hands. They now celebrate this by driving pick-up trucks really fast with screeching tyres and loud music! Daytime electricity became available in 1970 (beating some Welsh villages by a couple of decades).