Stayed put Monday as planned and had a really nice chilled few hours people watching all the cruise ship guests and catching up with things online courtesy of the Rum Barrel bar. Internet service here is appalling…..the marina offers two hours complimentary use a day per boat…but it never works. A couple of the bars have it – but are so protective of the passwords that they insist on entering it for you! The best place appears to be the Chinese supermarket as we have seen loads and loads of young men on their computers sitting outside and along the walls. Unfortunately we can’t pick it up from the marina even with my extender kit and I’m not going to stoop to that!
We have made arrangements with Wayne to get fuel delivered this afternoon between 2 and 3pm. Richard went off to the petrol station earlier with him to pay – so fingers crossed it all works out. Wayne is a young guy who lost the use of one arm when he got mugged. He is very resourceful and can fix anything you need whilst in the marina. As well as sorting out the fuel he’s also taken a couple of bags of laundry for his mum to do this afternoon… Anyway, diesel turns up on the back of a truck, but the hose isn’t long enough – so we have to decant 25 gallons into one 5 gallon jug at a time and fill up the tank that way. Took ages, but great job, and no charge for the service over and above the pump price!
After we had finished this and a few more boat jobs we went back into town and wandered – suddenly, like a mass exodus, the cruise ship passengers depart as though they had never been there – and the place goes back to being deathly quiet and shuts up shop. We decide to go to the Indian for dinner as we really fancy a proper curry. It was surprisingly good – especially the naan and my mutton rogan josh – and returned to Morphie for the night.
Tuesday morning beckons – and we get up bright and early raring to go. Unfortunately the weather doesn’t agree with us as it is pouring with rain and the wind picks up… The visibility reduces and, although we really have had enough of being on the dock, we know that it would not be a good idea to leave. So we have to stay another day. In the meantime we go and sort out customs to get a boat pass to the southern bays and onto Nevis. The pilot book says you can get one which lasts for a week so you can take your time getting there. Wrong! The boat pass to Nevis only lasts for 24 hours so you either go straight there or you have to get a pass to the southern coast and then return to Basseterre to pick up the Nevis pass. We decided to get the southern approval so we can get up bright and early Wednesday and head down to the beach. Also at the same time we realise that immigration have stamped our passports wrong meaning we have to leave St Kitts and Nevis by Wednesday too….so spent some time unpicking that… Grrrrr……only the British islands are this difficult (so far)!
We really moped around all day – we have pretty much exhausted the area for walking around the marina and visited most of the bars. So went supermarket shopping and did a few more boat jobs. In the evening we had Pollie and Mo from Motivator and Alex from Nepenthe for sundowners. Nice evening.
Wednesday morning up bright and early and we left the marina – hurrah!!! On the water again…. Enjoyed the run down the coast and came into Cockleshell Bay, our destination for two nights.
Anchored easily although a bit shocked by the depth of the water – over 1m (4ft) lower than the charts say across the bay…. But we set easily and quickly in a patch of sand among the sea grass – but snorkelled to make sure anyway. OMG – running across the sandy spot about 7m / 20 feet in front of our anchor there is a high voltage power cable!!!! Not marked on any chart – physical or electronic. Phew that would not have been fun… We went back on board and took co-ordinates to warn people about this hazard.
We are safe and secure so went ashore to the Reggae Beach Bar for lunch and a leisurely afternoon. Had a nice lunch and was hoping to see the famous pig that likes ketchup and waiting for the monkeys to come down to drink – but didn’t see either. Oh well – had an enjoyable time on the beach and were joined in our bobbing time by Alex and Carol who had come down by car from the marina for the day.
Back on board before dark – and boy is it rolly. No chance of moving now so we have to tough it out. The most miserable night we’ve spent on board for a long while – being battered by waves slapping against the hull and the nodding of Morphie as she rises up and down on her anchor chain…not helped by the knowledge that we were in very shallow water. Oh well – we survived….. but decided to scrap the idea of having another day here!
So very early Thursday morning we went back up to Basseterre, got the Nevis customs clearance pass, and sailed down on a great reach in 15 knots of breeze. A perfect 10 mile sail and we quickly found a good mooring ball – anchoring is not allowed here – and settled in. The views from this anchorage up the Nevis peak are spectacular…..
Went ashore to Charlestown – visited customs and gave them our clearance papers; went into immigration and they agreed to extend our stay for a week if we wanted (phew!); and then the marine office to pay for the mooring. Bargain…. less than £20 for a week…. Back on board and time to sample the delights of the Sunshine bar – took the dinghy up the beach and settled down to people watch the escapees from the nearby Four Seasons hotel getting a bit merry on the Killer Bee cocktail. We just had a quiet late lunch and then bobbed for a while. Back on board before dark and a quiet night enjoying the anchorage and watching the sun go down. Tomorrow we’ll work out what we do from here as there is some bad weather forecast again for next week…