News from Nevis

The Talulah's Web Diary
Ali Pery / Shane Warriker
Sat 13 Mar 2010 12:24

17:08.133N 062:37.897W


Our sail – or should I say motor – up to Nevis was horrible.  We had no wind (less than predicted), and what we had was straight on the nose, and we had both engines running continuously for 35 hours!  We left Martinique soon after midnight on Monday 8th and arrived here on Wednesday morning.  The journey brought back bad memories of being becalmed mid-Atlantic, at one point the apparent wind reading 00.  It was very very hot and uncomfortable.


We dropped anchor in an empty (boatwise) Charlestown, and spent hours walking around town trying to clear customs and immigration (we’re talking the usual “closed for lunch, back at 2, but remember this is Caribbean time … so back at 4 maybe…. if you’re lucky…”) only to discover we then had to clear the Port Authority for permission to pick up the obligatory mooring buoy further north off Pinney’s Beach. (Our Leeward Islands guidebook is slightly out of date!)  So off we moved, picked up a buoy, and were finally able to catch up on a couple of hours sleep later in the afternoon.


In the evening we beached the dingy outside Double Deuce, a wonderful beach bar, and were greeted by my cousin Azelle’s friends, Naomi and Oliver, who live on the island.  We had a wonderful evening of hearing each others life-stories, and it was so refreshing was to talk with land dwellers about our mutual love of pigs and landrover defenders, and not boat electrics!!  On thursday they picked us up from the beach again and gave us an island tour.  It was luxury to sit in an air-conditioned car, with two lovely locals, and be shown around.  We started at their wonderful house, where Naomi let me use her washing machine (wow!), play with their dog (how I still miss the dogs!), and showed us their garden, full of lizards and monkeys.


Nevis is beautiful, peaked in the centre where Peak Nevis (over 3000 ft high) is capped with clouds … Columbus named it “Nuestra Senora del las Nieves” (Our Lady of the Snows), after one of his favourite Churches, as the clouds which cling to the summit, fall down the sides, and look like snow.  This is where Horatio Nelson met Nevisian widow Fanny Nisbet.  With a population of approx 12000, the island is quiet and peaceful, with picturesque houses and traditional Caribbean style buildings.  We visited Golden Rock Estate, had a wonderful lunch set in the rainforest, where it was cool and lush, and even muddy underfoot!  We went onto see the other old plantation estates also … Montpelier and The Hermitage.  These are all now hotels and restaurants, but they have been careful to preserve their architectural heritage.  It is unlike any other island we have visited so far, and with no boat boys buzzing around the anchorage, has been a peaceful and restful couple of days!  


It has rained most of the time we have been here, which has been so refreshing, and may have even cleaned the boat a little!


Last night Naomi and Oliver came out for sundowners on the boat, another sad farewell, and today we set off for a 24 hr (???) sail up to the British Virgin Islands (with a quick fuel-up in St Kitts enroute) …..