Islands that brush the clouds

Sun 22 Apr 2018 19:18
17.09.109N 62.37.845W
From Anguilla we thought we would wind our way back to Antigua via Saba, Nevis etc. This group of islands are known as the islands that brush the clouds as they are volcanic with tall mountains.

We planned Saba as our first stop and set sail early from Anguilla, after a few hours our speed dropped dramatically despite the same conditions and Tikka wasn’t handling well. We diverted into St Martin and dropped the anchor to investigate and found we had picked up an abandoned line which was trapped in the rudder, once freed we set off again for Saba. More problems ensued with the track that holds the headsail in place so we ended up only having a pit stop at Saba (weather condition also made it difficult to get ashore).

We then headed straight for Nevis, and settled in Charlestown. That night we sampled some of the killer bee rum punches in the Sunshine Bar on Pinney’s beach (more killer than bee).

The next day we headed into town (fun and games getting off the dinghy as the do k has been destroyed but we got there in the end). We took the ubiquitous taxi tour with teach (recommended in our pilot book), hot springs, Nelson museum and a number of plantations including the one visited by Princess Di and her sons, plus the one owned by Nelson’s wife.

We then took Tikka up to Oualie Beach, we struggled to anchor as the hurricanes have made the bay very shallow by taking all the sand from the beach and dumping it in the bay but we got there in the end. We had a very warm welcome ashore at the Oualie Beach Resort, drinks with the owners, then complimentary rum punch, wine and canapés, with steel drums, finished off with home made liquors.

We the went back to Charlestown the following day as we were headed to St Kitts by ferry for the scenic railway trip (friend suggested this was a better way to see St. Kitts). It was an early start as our train trip was due to start at 8.30. After a few blearily eyes and some concerns about leaving the dinghy we arrived at the station and boarded the train. What we hadn’t realised was that they have a complimentary bar with anything as long as it is rum! Starting at 8.30 - rum punch, strawberry daiquiri, pina colada, but a great way to see the island as well!

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We made it back to Tikka, and then dinghy to the beach again to the Turtle bar. Martin made friends with a local.....

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Who shortly after this sat on the back of his chair and played with his shoulders.

We had decided to leave early the next day to cross direct to Antigua, weather report all seemed good so off we set. Rather than the 15 knots we were expecting we had 25 gusting to 35 straight on the nose so ended up having to divert to Monserrat.

As we were there it seemed that we should take advantage and do the tour. We saw the occasionally still smoking volcano which hasn’t erupted in a while but has caused devastation. We stopped at the Four Seasons Hotel - yep that the steps down into the pool....

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Then bottom half of the island is still an exclusion zone but we got as close as we could

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Lots of ash and destroyed valleys. Tomorrow we try again for Antigua.