Sta Vast and Itchy Foot are sticking together as long as possible and we left Barbuda early in the morning and headed for Nevis. The sea state was quite bouncy, (especially where there is an underwater shelf where the depth goes from “it’s too deep to give a reading” to 30 meters) but we listened to audio books while keeping our eyes on the horizon and ate cheese and crackers which are my favourite snack choice in rough conditions and we arrived just before dark. Sta Vast are faster than we are and even when we leave earlier, they arrive first. They found two mooring buoys next to each other just off Pinney Beach and we were very happy to be safely tied up as the last light of the day faded away. We all found our comfy sleeping places early that night.
After boat school the next day, we went ashore to check out our new neighbourhood. What we found were beach bars aplenty and Sunshine bar is a legend in these parts with a trampoline, a bonfire a very nice rum punch they nicknamed “Killer Bee” and puppies- one called Mary has many fans in this group. We didn’t find all that out until later as our first trip ashore was a walk into Charles Town. The place is very cute – many of the buildings have wooden and iron lattice work and were never taller than two or three stories. We searched for the customs office to check in and stopped in a few shops and noticed immediately that people greet everyone they meet whether it is entering a shop or passing someone on the street, just as you often find in very small towns. We really noticed that the whole island was very friendly and bought street food from a guy who was a vendor in the same spot for 25 years. We ate our picnic in Memorial Square with lots of locals and enjoyed our day, even if we missed the customs office by 15 minutes.
While we were on the mooring buoy off Pinney Beach we did some boat jobs and did some boat school and enjoyed our afternoons ashore. Jon fixed our tap – hooray for easy water flow in the galley and Vincent patched the Beast (Sta Vast’s dinghy) and has been doing fault finding on their auto helm and compass that failed them on the last crossing. With other people living aboard we talk about boat jobs a lot and swap ideas and solutions or just commiserate when something goes wrong and cheer when it is easily solved.
One of our favourite afternoons was a walk through a rainforest, past an old sugar plantation with an amazing view. The kids were doing Mogli tricks and Jon made Teo a bow out of vines and the crowning glory was the monkey show we saw at dusk as we were walking back through a tract of vacation homes. We must have seen 50 to 100 monkey in small groups crossing the road to the jungle on the other side. The Four Seasons has a golf course not too far away and I am convinced the monkeys play a round once it is dark.
We moved to St Kitts as the very windy weather arrived as we were trying to make some ground north. First we anchored in Whitehouse Bay, but it was very deep there and the boats all had to put lots of anchor chain down as we were all dancing around with the gusts. We stayed onboard our boats most of the time but did visit each other and had a few wavy swims. We moved around to Majors Bay for a night and went ashore to check out a wreck on the beach and the surrounding area. On our walk around to the next bay we met Sweet Pea, who is local and told us all about her island. She even tried to hitch us a lift but we were enjoying stretching our legs. We made it to Reggae Beach just in time for the last beach bar to close. We were disappointed and finally nice people who run the Spice Mill on the end, served us even though they were hosting a private party. There was a very sweet Spanish speaker who served the kids “Rhum punch” and let them choose the music. They even arranged for a ride back to our dinghies. They really did save the day and would have loved to go back to enjoy a meal, but we left the next day for St. Martin.