|Keith, Watusi and Ron before our tour|
Our first stop was the St. Thomas Lowland Parish Anglican church, one of the oldest on the island. We were captivated by the serene stone structure, and the amazing cemetery beside and behind it. Most of the stones were very old, dating back from the 1700s, with ornate inscriptions on the entire slab of stone covering the graves, and decorated with carvings. One was heart-breaking:
“Here lyes y boddyes of two children
of Mr Joseph Martyn and Dorothy his wife
Both named Edward. Y eldest died May the 6th
ann 1678, & Y other died July 6th 1679”
|The inscription on this slab was extremely worn and mostly unreadable, but I'm pretty |
sure the person to whom it was dedicated wasn't a pirate!
From there, the tour went through various areas of the island, from other parish churches to places along the road where Watusi would randomly stop to chat with friends. (“Bless up!” was a popular greeting, before he would launch into a Nevisian local dialect that none of us could follow.) We checked out the rural countryside and stopped to walk among the ruins of the old sugar mills that still dot the island. Most of the mills were windmills, like on St. Kitt’s, and all that is left is the lower stone structures. In some cases, when the mills were converted to steam power (from wind power) there is the old 18th century machinery. The sugar vats remained the same though! It was fun to try to imagine it as a working enterprise.
|Sugar cane press with rollers|
|The old sugar vats|
|Ruins of the old manor house|
|There was a tiny garden next to this small house|
|House on the left, shed for the goats on the right|
|Porches were common too|
After a full day of island sightseeing, we'd had our fill of the plantation life! We returned to town listening to a CD of Watusi's music (Rather good, actually -- we bought one for ourselves) and then made our way back to Equinox for a few boat chores. After Ron ran back to town to clear us out with Customs, we pulled the dinghy up on the flybridge to ready her for tomorrow's early departure. We spent a quiet evening with Keith aboard for dinner (doing a great book exchange between the books aboard each boat) and said our goodbyes. Keith was considering sailing Sophia over to Monserrat or Barbuda before reuniting with Gwen and returning to St. John; we're thinking of going to Saba or elsewhere! We'll see what the weather and the morning will bring!