Two boats, two weeks, four countries, seven islands, thirteen guests …what a party we had over Christmas and to bring in New Year in the islands into 2013…
Three Returning Guests
[dropcap]P[/dropcap]ete enjoyed a 2nd Christmas with the Ibis crew, joining Andrew, also on his 2nd trip on Ibis, and his old pal, Adrian, with us again for his 3rd Christmas in a row! Our old hands joined new guests Carolyn, Kristin & Robb, Claire & Flis, Bill, Tim and Brendan, and new sailors Ikram and Irina on their first ever sailing holiday. While the wave conditions were sometimes challenging, we couldn’t have chosen a better sailing itinerary for 2 weeks in this area. We hired Chico Chico, a friend’s roomy 50ft Beneteau, and with Francois in charge of the 2nd boat we were ready for anything….well most things
Everyone arrived around the 22nd December and we picked up our last arrival in Simpson Bay on the 23rd, just in time to hot-foot it over to Anguilla for an afternoon in Crocus Bay and a night [pullquote_right]”some of our usual anchorages were uncomfortable & beach landings a little more tricky”[/pullquote_right]out at the Pumphouse Restaurant and Elvis’s Beach Bar on Christmas Eve. The waves had been coming in from the North for a few days, making some of our usual anchorages uncomfortable, and beach landings a little more tricky. The Chico crew were first to get a dunking on their way back on board from Crocus Bay and a soggy outboard meant a tow from a well-meaning fellow sailor. Sadly he hadn’t much experience of towing another dinghy with his own and as the weight came on the rope he held in his hand, he was unceremoniously tugged off backwards. Eventually back on board, Francois rebuilt his first carburetor of the week!
Christmas in Anguilla
Christmas Day dawned bright and sunny; everyone donned their special Christmas hats, and we set off early doors for Prickly Pear Cay and its lovely sand beach. Although the waves were rolling in from the North and the water was a bit murky for snorkelling everyone braved the choppy channel for a trip ashore. Next for a dunking, the Ibis crew, fronted by Adrian, were tossed in the water as their dinghy, too, was flipped by a big wave from the stern! Thankfully no-one was again hurt, and Francois swam in with a tool-box to rebuild the 2nd carburetor. Shame about Adrian’s hat.
We had a great Christmas lunch on board Chico where everyone tucked into roast turkey and ham with all the usual trimmings, followed by home made mince pies. We’d organized a “Secret Santa” game for after lunch, and Kristin added a bit more spice by suggesting that people be offered the choice to steal the previous person’s gift or take a new one from the bag. All in all a fun day, and then back to Road Harbour where the hardy hit the beach bar again.
St Martin to St Barth’s & Nevis
From Anguilla we sailed back over to St Martin and the bay of Anse Marcel with a lovely beach and the Radisson Hotel. From here we sailed north to the lovely Pinel Island and picked up a mooring bouy for lunch ashore followed by some snorkelling. Later that same afternoon we sailed over to Columbier [pullquote_left]”marvelling at the superyachts camped out in the bay”[/pullquote_left] on St Barth’s and with the wind blowing strongly from the South East this week we were hard on the wind and arrived in the dark. After breakfast the next morning we motored around to the capital of Gustavia, marveling at the superyachts camped out in the bay for the holidays. We wandered the designer shops for the afternoon and prepared for the next day’s sail over to Nevis.
With the wind on the beam at around 25 knots we made good speed over to Nevis, cutting through the narrows and anchoring just off the amazingly long beach. Andrew managed to step on a Stone Fish in the shallows, or at least we think it was, and not wanting to take any chances we whisked him off to hospital to get it checked out. Meantime, the rest of the crew hit the ‘Killer Bees’ at Sunshine’s Beach Bar. The dinghy ride back aboard was again a bit tricky for some, although this time it was flat calm!
Auld Year’s Night on St Kitts
We moseyed on up to St Kitts where most of us went zip-lining, and Irina, Claire and Flis also went horseriding. That evening was New Year’s Eve and our venue was the Beach House at the Southern end of St Kitts – a perfect location set on its own in a lovely sandy bay. Some lovely lighting and decorations perfected the setting, and we saw in the New Year with a buffet dinner, disco, fireworks and champagne.
New Year’s Day is the main carnival parade on St Kitts and having moved the boats around the coast a little, we all headed into town to watch. The town of Basseterre really knows how to put on a great show and to involve all the locals and tourists alike. We were treated to some great costumes, loud music and stiltwalkers!
On the final day, of the trip, we set sail once more for St Maarten and sailed into Simpson Bay. Professional fisherman, Francois, managed to land a nice wahoo and a small tuna just outside St Kitts and we all enjoyed some tuna ceviche as an aperitif before our farewell dinner at Jimbo’s in the Lagoon.
Phew….what a trip!
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