St Kitts - Sounds French it's actually English...
Trip Start Apr 04, 2008
110Trip End Jul 03, 2009
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Well after the write up about this island in the cruising guide, proclaiming it to be one of the nicest, most unique islands with spectacular scenery and home to people like Thomas Jefferson and Joan Armatrading, how could we not stop!!
We anchored just off the capital town of Basseterre (that even sounds French) which was very exposed to the swell and quite windblown. After 5 minutes we decided we were all going ashore to clear into customs before we were sea sick. We'll just let Bella roll around out there for the day.
Ashore, we visited some of the many shops, all designed to extract tourist money from the hordes that arrive on cruise ship days. We've found that most of the ports were cruise ships visit have all the same cheap touristy stuff and the locals hassle you at every corner to buy something or come on a tour somewhere. It's obviously how they make their living, but after a dozen or more ports like this you get quite tired of it.
After saying that, we agreed to pay a friendly taxi driver to take us on a tour of the island for the afternoon. This was a good way to see the sights and chat with a local who could explain the history and current happenings on the island. We drove through lots of small villages and up to an historic fort where Lord Horatio Nelson held of a French invasion. (It seems that just about all these islands have been fought over by the French and British, they now seem to alternate as you cruise from one to the other, French then British, French then British up through the windward and Leeward island ) There were also quite a few good surf breaks on the windward side of the island and a massive Marriot resort. I'm sure lots of people just come to resorts like this and don't actually leave the resort. They just enjoy the beautiful water and resort facilities..... and these resorts have absolutely anything you could imagine.
The island was not the sun kissed exotic caribbean island that we expected, instead it was dark sand and volcanic rock, in fact quite a harsh with only small pockets of lush bush. It is said that there are 30,000 people on the island and 125,000 monkeys which after the boys doing a bit of exploring found out are not too friendly and had to make a quick retreat. Nice but not what we had assumed from the books we'd read....
After our day out we bought some duty free rum and chocolate and headed back to Bella. Being a rolly anchorage I decided we'd head south to a more protected bay and enjoy a relaxing calm night at anchor. Good thing we went down to the next bay because we caught up with an Aussie family we met in Rabat, Morocco. Had a few drinks (quite a few) and chatted about the cruising life. So much for a quiet evening.