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09 March 2016

Sainte-Anne and first visit to Nevis

The day after Leigh's departure, after a last sunset,
we moved to Ste Anne to visit our Swiss friends René and Ginette on Opus. We had a nice week together, visiting Le Marin to chase arcane or unobtainium spare parts, enjoying dinners on board and on shore. 

The weekly couscous fiesta is a great dancing opportunity. The restaurant owner takes the mike for everything from French oldies to American standards and Latino music.

We also enjoyed walking part of the trail that rounds the Ste Anne peninsula – beautiful beaches and utter calm 5 minutes from town.
Ste Anne Anchorage

Anse Caritan Ste Anne

When the next weather window opened, it was time to make way North towards our end-March Puerto Rico appointment. We decided to go to Nevis, with a quick overnight in Deshaies, Guadeloupe.

The crossing along Martinique, Dominica, Les Saintes and Guadeloupe was a mix of fast sailing between islands and slogging along the coasts; in Deshaies we caught the last free mooring ball and were able to avoid the anchoring demo-derby taking place daily in this small bay where wind and current have their own minds and squalls are frequent.

We restarted the following morning in the dark, in light airs, towards Montserrat, Redonda and Nevis.
The Kingdom of Redonda

The going was slow enough that we deployed the spinnaker, which immediately caused a squall to descend upon us upwind of Montserrat. We weathered it, but ten minutes later, as we were doing a brisk 9 knots, we saw the spinnaker fall like a tree next to the boat – ripped head. After 30 minutes we had recovered the whole soaking mess from the ocean, never stopping on our way to Redonda. JP had not blown a spinnaker since his regatta days, a few decades ago…

Spi aftermath

We made Nevis just for the sunset, 12 hours for 70 miles and picked a mooring close to the only town, Charlestown. At Customs and in town, people were universally friendly and helpful.

Restored building at Golden Rock

The next day we undertook an island tour – the main attractions are big plantation houses converted to high-end hotels, some very tastefully. 

Montpelier Hall
Verandah at Hermitage
We were particularly impressed by Golden Rock (great landscaping and use of nature), Montpelier (beautiful hall) and Hermitage (fully restored colonial wooden house). 

We also stopped at old churches with tombstones from the 1600’s and hot sulphur springs.

Wild donkeys run free in the hills.
Talk to our agent!

Orchids - so hard to photograph

Lunch was at the delightful botanical garden, overlooking the south coast and featuring a Thai restaurant and flower extract drinks.
Did you say purple flower?

An excellent fish dinner at Double Deuce, a beach restaurant concluded our visit to Nevis.

Squall and rainbow on Nevis peak
The ship's mechanic

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