Back to the BVIs, Post Irma

My wife Marlene and I returned to St Kitts on October 13th. Our little boatyard there held up well. By the photos you can why Hurricane Irma, which passed well north of St Kitts, and Maria, with a glancing blow from the south caused little damage.

Safe Boats, Happy Goats

Safe Boats, Happy Goats

We spent the night before going back in the water in the boatyard, on land, on our Leopard 44 Catamaran “Speculation”. It would have been ok IF we had closed all the doors and hatches without screens, but no, we invited all the local mosquitoes to a feast instead. It didn’t cross my mind because mosquitoes are rare out over the water (the only way to travel in the tropics!).

An adventurous couple, Chris and Michelle joined us in St Kitts for a sailing class. Between the islands of Nevis, St Kitts, Sint Eustatius and Saba we found the usual great sailing weather of the Caribbean,

Sint Eustatius ("Statia")

Sint Eustatius (“Statia”)

but a lot that was very different from the Virgin Islands, such as:

  1. Rugged volcanic rain forested islands, looking a lot like Polynesia.
  2. Local population swim in the ocean. Unlike the VIs were most locals only get in the ocean on their cigarette boats… and most don’t swim (weird huh?) these natives are in the water at every beach.
  3. Super friendly. I think without the stampede of visitors, it is more “small town”. But even in the cruise ship town of Basseterre, people are notably friendly.
  4. Remote. Let’s talk Saba. With only a population of 1500 on about 5 square miles (Link Here). They not only have the shortest commercial runway in the world, they only have 5 visitor mooring balls for the whole island (but about 20 dive balls) and we were the ONLY boat. The island is Dutch and looks it.
    SABA SHOPPING

    Dutch Caribbean Supermarket.

    Industrious Dutch built an airport, a harbor and a road that they were told, "Couldn't be done".

    Industrious Dutch built an airport, a harbor and a road that they were told, “Couldn’t be done”.

    The towns high in the clouds make for mild temperatures. There is continental dinning (with a nice wine selection), tropical sounds (with no mosquitoes).

    My favorite restaurant

    My favorite restaurant

Now about the diving on Saba. There are spires, or pinnacles that come up from deep in the ocean to around 60 feet. You dive miles from land in to blue water… and so I was told. I had no dive equipment on this trip, but did snorkel. The sea life was fairly abundant, but NEVER have I swam IN a school of fish (like I was one of them) or right up to a turtle that looked at me for a second and then went back to eating. Much of the marine life there acting almost like I was not there.

Remora... Looking for a ride?

Remora… Looking for a ride?

Happy Free Divers

Happy Free Divers

 

Coming up next: Wreck diving, killing lionfish & finding cannons on St Kitts. Followed by our trip to, and what we found in the BVIs.

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