This is part of the ninth section of our around the
Complete Trip Overview & Map
Coming from Antigua and Barbuda
19/3/03 In almost windless conditions we motored heading towards St Kitts. Fine particles of volcanic ash rained down on the boat, coming from Montserrat, the grit getting into our eyes, and left a thin layer of dust over everything. We normally trail a fishing line and lure but without success, travelling too fast, but today we zig zagged across some shoals and on approaching Nevis the captain managed to land a barracuda. Cleaned and sliced it was on our plates for dinner in a lovely white wine and sour cream sauce again compliments of the captain. Nevis is a relaxed place with only a few yachts, customs close at 12.00 noon so check in tomorrow, unlike the strict officialdom we experienced in Antigua.
20/3/03 Last nights sunset and this mornings sunrise spectacular as the sun peers through the Montserrat volcano's ash. Another temporary drivers license and approval from the police, customs and port authority to unload, import and ride the motorcycle, completed by 11.30 am. Nevis is a small island of 12,000 people yet wants secession from St Kitts, its bigger neighbour. The capital, Charlestown, holding on to most of its old character, recently renovating many older colonial buildings while a lot of the now disused sugar plantation homesteads are being converted to luxury hotels. The island itself is a bit uninteresting, dry and goat eaten, in the grips of a drought. We rode the one island loop road, 50 kms, finding little of interest along the way.
21/3/03 A vehicle ferry connects the larger island of St Kitts. We went for the day. A greener more developed island obviously doing better than its sister Nevis. A volcanic peak in the centre of each island but St Kitts' slopes are covered in sugar cane. There is a peninsula to the south with a couple of deeply pink coloured salt lakes in contrast to the blue ocean. Quite an attractive island to spend a day, or a week judging by the new hotel developments, or a lifetime by the large retirement homes on some of the hills. Caught the afternoon ferry back to Nevis.
22/3/03 The wind has been very light but came up this morning, a mixed blessing as it made loading the motorcycle more difficult from the high wharf but should make tomorrow's sailing better. A jobs day, washing clothes, cleaning the boat.
23/3/03 Dead calm on leaving at 7.00 am and motored till 10.00 am when enough wind, and from the right direction allowed us to use the brightly coloured gennaker sail. A headsail for use in light conditions, winds from astern. Our path was to cross three shallow sections of water where we hoped to stop and snorkel, well out to sea. Small areas marked on the map, but with slow progress we only crossed two areas in daylight, both with sandy, weedy bottoms and of little interest. Settled into the evening with a two person, three hourly watch, rotating through the night.
24/3/03 Sailing conditions the same today, arriving in St Croix, the US Virgin Islands, about 2 pm. A long slow sail averaging less than 4 knots. A different world, the same disciplined officials as the USA, the same SUV's on steroids, the same 50 coffee varieties from all over the world, and the same higher prices. Despite doing not much but sitting on the boat for the last three days we were all tired.
25/3/03 Christiansted has a lovely harbour, an island in
the middle and reefs breaking any ocean swell. The Danish first settled the
island and built the obligatory fort now restored. Quieter than the other
US Virgin Islands it still manages a few boats and tourists. We rigged another
headsail and poles for use in lighter winds. Judging by their stowage place
and condition they haven't been used in a long time and it took half a day
to organize. The afternoon was spent wandering the streets, beautifully restored
buildings, Danish architecture, with a new boardwalk along the waterfront.
You don't mind paying higher prices for things when taxes filter down into
better community facilities like library internet, clean streets and gardens.
All societies have anomalies in their rules but to be a part of America,
use left hand drive cars, but drive on the left side of the road, and on
a small island where the system could be easily changed seems rediculous
but is what happens on St Croix. Perhaps they don't change it because T-shirt
sales to the tourists would drop, "Living Life in the Left Lane"
Move with us to Puerto Rico
Story and photos copyright ©
Peter and Kay Forwood,