Monday, March 21, 2011

Moving on to St. Kitt's

Actually, the island is named St. Christopher's, by Columbus who named it after his patron saint. (How modest of him, really.) But everyone knows the place simply as St. Kitt's! To recap our recent moves, this morning we cleared out with Statian Customs and Immigration and said our good-byes to all at Golden Rock Dive Center. We will miss everyone!

Shortly thereafter, we pulled anchor and made way...winds were easterly, and while a bit brisk, the seas weren't too bad. A bit of chop on the swells, but we towed Eclipse easily. Oddly though, as we crossed the open passage between the islands, the winds seemed to pick up. We made our way along the coast of St. Kitt's heading south towards Basseterre where we had to clear in, when we hit these ripping winds (30+knots) comingoff the mountainside! Normally, one would think we'd have been in the lee with the winds being what they were, but the steep mountains of St. Kitts seemed to funnel the winds down and off the island in a huge way. Wild!
Approaching St. Kitt's
Smoke from burning the sugar cane fields

So, we arrived in St. Kitt’s at Basseterre about 1:30. We anchored off Port Zante (plenty of water and good holding) and came over by dinghy into the marina. We tied off on their docks -- no fee, and frankly, never really saw any marina personelle either! We did see the nice security folks at he marina gate, but other than that, the marina is still pretty rudimentary from what we could see. We walked over to the cruise ship terminal area and checked in per regulations....normally the guys are pretty nice, but this being Cruise Ship day…the poor Customs guy was a bit busy and a bit curt. The Immigration guy wasn't back from lunch yet, so we had to return later for that portion of checking in...but no rush and no worries. As always, an adventure! We did clear in with the port authorities as required to let then know we were on anchor, and they were quite nice as well. 

Walking to the Circus area of Basseterre
The very British town clock in Basseterre. The area is supposedly modeled after Picadilly in London.
We walked a bit about town, very picturesque and with a lot of historic buildings. Andhow fun when we were heading back to the boat, ran into our dive friend Keith off Sophia, who was currently at the marina! We chatted with him aboard his boat in Port Zante marina, then went back to the boat for dinner. Exhausted, we managed to make a huge dinner somehow, which was a nice lobster tail (frozen since Jost Van Dyke in the BVIs) plus bbq pork chops, along with a nice spinach and mushroom risotto. Yum! We watched Secretariat on DVD for the evening entertainment before crashing into  bed. ... Ok, so sometimes cruising is not all that exciting! :) Bon nuit!

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