Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Gustava (St. Barts)

St. Barthelemey (St. Barts) was our next stop after Tintamarre. The trade winds shifted from the Northeast to the Southeast. Once again we were fighting our way directly into the wind for half the trip. We went into Fort Gustava to check in. There is a large anchorage but it was filled with boats so we anchored about 1 NM from the town. With winds up to 30 knots the anchorage rolls most of the time. We learned when taking the dinghy into town that almost the entire anchorage is exposed to the wind and wave action. There were a large number of empty med mooring spots in the harbor. Given the number of boats at anchor I assume that they are very expensive. With strong winds it would be difficult to get set up. The four rows of mooring balls are so close together that you need a bow thruster to navigate the channel.

 

For a place that is on the “must be seen at” on the megayacht circuit St. Barts was a huge disappointment. There are no services, not even a fuel dock. The town consists of overpriced restaurants and very high end (Cartier, Yves St. Laurent) shops. Andy and I walked for 2 hours looking to purchase a post card for her to send to her mother before finding one store that actually sold post cards. I wanted to get a hair cut but there is no barber. We took in the laundry and were told the nearest laundry was a 15 Euro cab ride away. The most startling thing was that there were no people on the street. We were told that like vampires (very rich vampires) they only come out at night.

 

Lauren and Sammy drove the entire island looking for spiders and reported that the rest of the island is pretty much the same.

 

The Port Captain is very nice and efficient. They check the anchorage each morning and remind you that you need to check in and out. Apparently you can pre-clear over the Internet. That presumes you have Internet on your boat.

 

For some reason the airport here is semi-famous. Many of the post cards featured pictures of a plane landing here. It is much smaller than St. Martin as the planes are all small props.

 

I will not be in a hurry to come back unless I am gifted a few billion and a megayacht.

 

Fair winds and following seas.

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