Nevis, St. Kitts and St. Barts. N 17.53:85 W62
spending a very pleasant New Year in Bequia we again started to retrace our
steps North for our rendezvous with Sarah and Will. A shy reach took us back to
Wallalabu and the day after back to Rodney Bay, St. Lucia where we spent a
number of days having another meal at Razzmatazz with cruising friends and
enjoying the very good ice cream. Our friend's catamaran was berthed close to
‘Blue Tarn’ Mike Foreman’s boat. Unfortunately we did not meet up with Mike and
Tony as they had returned home to Carradale for Christmas and were not due back
until 27th January. Looking at Blue Tarn it was nice to think that
she too had sailed all the way from her mooring in Campbeltown.
an all too short a stop we headed for Martinique
then on to Dominica.
As the trades had well and truly established themselves the winds were a bit
stronger than Mike and Tony experienced. We had a close beat in 33 knots to
then the next day another in 31 knots of wind but with much bigger seas. We left
our friends behind in St.
as they don’t have such a tight schedule and didn’t want to venture out in such
strong winds. We then hopped from
to the Ills Des Saints and on to Guadeloupe
,then back to one of our favourite islands, Antigua
where we spent the best part of a week. By this time the winds (and seas) had
calmed significantly and we enjoyed pleasant sailing with full rig in 22 Knots.
In Antigua we met up with Mike and Anne from ‘Orchestra’ (see John and Helen’s
blog for Antigua and Barbuda) and watched Obama’s inauguration on a large scale
TV in the ‘Mad Mongoose’ To see all the locals wearing Obama T-shirts you would
think that he had just been made president of the West Indies. Whilst we were in
they announced on local radio that in honour of the inauguration they had
changed the name of one of their ‘mountains'!! from
to the much more serene sounding, ‘Mount Obama.’ Anyway, we’ll see how he gets
on as we travel up the American East coast in a few months
are now at anchor in Gustavia
St. Barts which is French owned and very pretty. To be honest, on a run ashore
yesterday you would think that we had landed in
in mid summer. There were half a dozen superyachts anchored inside and the
street furniture and buildings are manicured to perfection. The island’s claim
to fame is that it was fought over repeatedly by the French and Spanish. One
Frenchman was so horrified by the atrocities carried out by the Spanish against
the native populations that he decided to avenge them. He became the pirate
‘Montbars the Exterminator' and with an indigenous crew who all had axes to
grind he was the scourge of the Spanish. He finally disappeared in a hurricane,
his weather routing provider obviously having let him down that trip. St Barts
didn’t have much in the way of agriculture so it was given by the French to the
Swedes in exchange for trading rights with St.
Under the Swedes it prospered as a Free port and during the war of American
Independence, the American rebels would sail here for supplies. After a hundred
years or so, trade waned and the island was sold back to
has done a very good job since and St. Barts is now a place where the ‘betifl
people' come to hang out. It is so chic and full of the in crowd that two
fruit juices at a local bar (to use WiFi) cost us ten pounds. The
pension won’t last long at that!
have noticed that I haven’t said much about Nevis
or St. Kitts. We thought that Nevis
looked uninspiring from the sea and St. Kitts was overdeveloped for the American
cruise ship market making what we saw tacky in the extreme and false as regards
the culture of the island, so between that and very rolly anchorages we didn’t
hang about, staying only one night at anchor then moving on. On speaking to some
of our readers whilst home, the view was expressed that you wanted less text and
more photographs. I’ll try to bear that in mind in future.