On to St. Kitts
Trip Start Aug 01, 2005
45Trip End Ongoing
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The next day we sailed to St. Kitts, also known as St. Christopher's (which one book said Christopher Columbus named for himself after he discovered it - we're not sure if he put the "saint" part on with illusions of grandeur or it actually came later). This passage was an uneventful two mile voyage. Nevis and St. Kitts are much greener than Antigua because of the extinct volcanoes on both islands which attract the rain clouds. Upon getting close to St. Kitts, the dominant view is of the volcanic mountains and numerous sugar cane fields.
St. Kitts is unique in that all of the large sugar cane fields are owned by the government. The government expropriated these private plantations in the mid 1980's when the private sector discovered that they could no longer make a profit. Summer of 2005 was the last commercial harvest; however, St. Kitts was green with nearly ripe sugar cane as we arrived. It turns out that because the fields are government-owned, continuing to plant cane was more a political decision than an economic one. The island is filled with fields of sugar cane which will go unharvested unless the government can figure out another way to sell it. Current talk is to turn it into ethanol. Chris' economic background thinks that may be pretty iffy.
We took the opportunity while we were here to do some more touristy stuff. After walking around the town to reconnoiter, we found the office of tourism and picked up some brochures and magazines.
One of the rules, we were told, was that we had to wave at the locals when we passed by. They must have known this rule as well, and darn near everyone stopped what they were doing to give us a wave.
Before the train arrived, we had an opportunity to talk with the conductor who told us that this train is owned by the same person who owns the Whitepass and Yukon Railroad in Skagway. Small world.
The next day we hiked Mt. Luimuiga, (Lee-ah-mee-guh) an extinct volcano with "Greg's Safaris". There were two other couples with us as well as the local guide named Scott. We rode in the back of a "safari-type vehicle" for a good way enjoying the company of the others as well as the beauty of the island.
When we got back to our boat, we had visitors. Two men (a father and his grown son) came over in their dinghy to tell us that they knew our boat and her first owner and had sailed quite a bit on Quest when she was in the South Pacific. They knew how strongly she was built and gave us a card, saying that if we ever wanted to sell, let them know. Again, small world.
Oh, the Mac Guiver fix didn't hold and Chris has been trying unsuccessfully to jury-rig something to allow us to use the outboard.
Next stop, St. Martin.