After nearly a month on the hook in St Martin, it was with itchy feet that we hoisted sails and headed for the small island of St Barts. Our first stop was anchoring off the uninhabited Ile Fourchue, a marine park that lies between St Martin and St Barts. It was originally home to a group of goats but they literally ate themselves out of house and home and the small number that survived were removed from the island. Vegetation is slowly returning….
We went ashore to explore and take in some of the great views from the various high points, whilst trying to stop the kids throwing themselves off. It was a welcome hike following our sail. The next morning we snorkelled off one of the points in the bay. The snorkelling was pretty good but not the best we have seen, by far. I think the high point for Stewart was the number of very large barracuda lurking right on the point.
The next morning we sailed down to Anse de Colombier at the north end of St Barts. It is a pretty little bay and beach within the marine reserve with no road access but a short hike around the coast will get you to civilisation. And boy was it civilised! The beach at Flamands was surrounded by exclusive hotels with guests enjoying the golden sand from beautiful white sunlongers. We were enjoying it too, but at a fraction of the cost. Having asked directions to the main street, we were directed through one of the afore-mentioned posh hotels, the White Horse. The kids had a sneaky foot dip in the infinity pool to get rid of the sand. I was considering disowning them but managed to get them out in time for the concierge not to see them.
It was decided that we would attempt another field trip (following our unsuccessful trip to the museum in St Martin) so we headed into Gustavia to look at Forts and museums for the day. While Stewart and Ernesto drooled over a very posh racing yacht, called Nomad IV (http://www.yachtcharterfleet.com/luxury-charter-yacht-47466/nomad-iv.htm ) that was in port, we popped into the Tourist Office to check out entry details for the fort. Alas we failed at step one – the fort is actually the Gendarmerie and the other two forts that were displayed on the map are not actually forts. Not to be defeated, we headed round town to take in the historical points of interest. We managed to finally drag Stewart and Ernesto away from Nomad IV after they decided that she would be FAR too uncomfortable as a cruising yacht as she was rolling like a pig. I don’t know, I reckon I would have been able to make myself at home. Our frustrations were not over. We finally made it to the museum only to find that it was closed for the day, for no apparent reason. Not an entirely successful field trip but the kids did learn a fair amount about the history and we had a very nice lunch at the popular ‘Le Select’ restaurant, which seems to be a popular spot for yachties.
Gustavia is a very well maintained, pretty port and town but the entry fees are set so as not to encourage sailors to hang around too long. We had a lovely few days and I would certainly like to come back, either on a yacht or a nice hotel (if we ever win the lottery!).