Saturday was our last day in St. Barts. In the morning, I dinghied into town to clear out of the country and pick up a couple of things at the grocery store. In the evening, we both returned to town for dinner and a concert. Dinner was at a very hip “street-food” restaurant called 25 Quarter. The Braised Short Rib Tacos were amazing. From there, we walked a block to the St. Barts Anglican Church which occupies the most prominent position on the harbor front. Why would an Anglican church occupy the prime spot on a French island? Its a little bit of a long story, but it relates to the time when the island was a part of Sweden from 1784-1878. The church was built in 1855.
Our reason for going to the church on a Saturday night was to attend a concert. What kind of concert? We had no idea. We had noticed a couple of banners around town advertising a concert. It appeared (based on my very little understanding of French) to be a choral concert. The evening turned out to be quite fun. The choir, I surmised, was a volunteer choir made up of singers around the island. The first half of the concert included “classical” numbers, ranging from excerpts from Mozart’s Requiem to “Funiculi, Funicula”. The second half consisted of modern numbers ranging from “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” to “You’re the One That I Want.” Of course, all the speaking was in French, but the songs were mostly performed in their original language (except for “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” which was, of course, done in French). Around 10 p.m., we boarded Dalí for the return trip to Beatitude in the dark.
At seven the next morning, we weighed anchor and set out for the 45 nautical mile journey almost due south to St. Kitts. Cindy really didn’t want to travel on Sunday which happened to also be Mother’s Day. But, when considering the conditions were the most benign on Sunday compared to the day before or after, she chose the most favorable conditions over not traveling. The seven hour trip was relatively benign except, for some reason, Cindy had a little seasickness early on. We’d been tossed around on anchor for four nights, and the conditions underway were not much difference. But, I guess it all caught up with her, and mal de mer finally won out. She laid down and rested most of the journey until we rounded the western end of St. Kitts. The island was strikingly beautiful with it’s lush, green, sloping lowlands surrounding the high mountains which ascend to over 3700 feet. The peaks were mostly shrouded in clouds which occasionally expanded to send forth envoys of showers on the surrounding area.
A little after 2 p.m., we dropped anchor just outside of Port Zante Marina in Basseterre, the main city on St. Kitts. Although we hoped for a calmer anchorage, we were just as exposed to the roll and chop as we were in St. Barts. Upon arrival, the first task was to clear into the country. I dinghied into the marina and parked Dalí in one of its corners. The customs office was at the marina, which was quite convenient. When I arrived, the customs officer was asleep with his door locked. He groggily cleared me into the country, but not without multiple mistakes on the customs form. Based on the customs form, our vessel is 130 feet long, 80 feet wide, and has a 27 foot draft! Since it was a Sunday, there was no immigration at the port. I had to take a taxi ride to the airport to clear immigration. Overall, though, this was all relatively painless. The upside of requiring a taxi ride to the airport is that the taxi driver was so kind as to make us dinner reservations at a local restaurant so I could take the wonderful mother of my children out to celebrate Mother’s Day.
The restaurant was only about three-quarters of a mile from the marina, so we decided to walk there. Perhaps, not the best choice. We were both hot and drenched upon arrival. There was no wind, and the heat and humidity were intense. The walk through town did not leave us impressed. The harbour itself had lots of garbage floating in it. The main street through town was also dirty and smelly. We definitely weren’t in St. Barts anymore. However, by the time we arrived at the Ocean Terrace Inn, the surroundings were more favorable. We sat down to a fantastic Mother’s Day meal. Cindy had ribeye steak while I had the grouper. The food was wonderful, and the ambience matched. Since it was dark by the time we finished our meal, we called Kenrick, the taxi driver, to transport us back to Beatitude for another bouncy, rolly night at anchor.