Wednesday, June 27, 2007

St Barts; Playground of the rich and famous

Beautiful white beach of Anse des Flammands

Bill met us in the BVI's after Sara’s wedding and sailed with us to St Martin.

On the way we talked to a merchant ship on the radio; watched several cruise liners hover at night, killing time between island destinations; enjoyed our first dolphin show, they swam up to us and spent time riding in our bow wave, tempting us to jump into the water and join their frolicking.

In St Martin Bill proved to be a true friend by installing our Pur water maker - a nasty job, but somebody had to do it. It is a really small model which we bought despite the fact that Mike insisted we wouldn’t need it. (We have relied on it continuously since that time) After that we took of for an all too brief visit to St Bart's just a short day sail away.

This is one of the wealthier islands as we saw as soon as we went to town. There are a lot of high price world famous names on the main street shops. It is a holiday retreat for the rich and the famous - the Riviera of the Caribbean.

Boats moored in Anse du Colombier; a bay which used to belong to the Rockefellers

We anchored Cheshire Cat just outside the Port of Gustavier where it was a little rock and roll but the mooring balls just around the corner in Ands du Colombier corner were too far away from town for us to travel in our little dinghy and 4 horse engine.

We did however, meet up withDerek from Dream Weaver, whom we had met previously in Bermuda and before that at home in the yard in Bronte.

The little town of Gustavier is very picturesque with red roofed buildings, steep, narrow streets and small, colourful wooden boats tied up at the waterside. There are lots of restaurants and bars, most a little out of our range, but it was fun to sit and have a beer and watch a little bit of the world go by. We enjoyed some pleasant walks exploring the area. The Port officials were very friendly and polite, and we discovered a small book swap as well as good fresh water on the dock.

Together we rented a mini moke, a teeny car which barely allowed four of us to sit comfortably

Our first stop was shell beach, and we made excellent time even in the hot noonday sun. Unfortunately the beach was almost deserted, but luckily there was a bar so we veered off to enjoy some refreshment and some shade from the sun. We soon left though as each beer cost six US dollars.

The big attraction here was 'clothing optional' beaches. So we persuaded the tiny little car with its overworked little engine up and down the steep hills, stopping to allow three three guys to sample the beaches I sat back and watched them strolling along, very casual behind their dark glasses, commenting on the type of beach and the quality of the sand. Even for me it was quite an experience, and I didn't do much walking!

Baie St Jean located at the end of the runway.

Small planes barely make it over a hill, then they dive onto this very short landing strip. Anchoring there is probably extremely hazardous!

All in all this was a holiday the guys still remember with a certain fondness!

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