After a nightmare journey from the UK via Grenada, Pete and Adrian joined Steve for a Christmas to remember at anchor in the beautiful Anse de Columbier on St Barth’s.
A Swell Welcome
[dropcap]P[/dropcap]ete & Ade had originally booked their Christmas trip with another sailing business, but a last minute let down meant I was fortunate that they joined Ibis instead. They’d flown into Grenada, 400 miles to the South of us in St Maarten, which meant catching connecting flights with the local airline, LIAT, stopping at a million different islands on the way North!
I met them at the airport, but the swell in Marigot Bay was so big at the time that they hopped in a cab which made for a short dinghy transfer over the massive waves out to the boat. The other boat operator had told me that Ade and Pete were “a couple” so I’d assumed that they would be wanting to share a cabin and bathroom and consequently I’d only made up one of the cabins. [pullquote_right]”they’d never met each other before and neither of them were gay!”[/pullquote_right]It turned out that they’d never met each other before and neither of them were gay! OOPS! I think they wondered then what sort of a boat they were joining, but I suppose it broke the ice a little, ha ha!
Trying a second time for Grand Case Mardi, we headed up the coast but the waves were just as big there and actually sweeping the length of the dinghy dock and submerging it at times. So after a night chilling on board we headed ashore in the morning for a quick look around the town, grab some Champers and croissants for our Christmas-time feasts, and collect Francois, laden with his gifts of live lobsters and a huge snapper.
From Grand Case we headed North around the top of St Martin to Tintamarre where we picked up a bouy for some lunch and a swim. From there it was a slow downwind sail to Columbier with a light wind and blazing sunshine.
Christmas Day dawned with more blue skies on our perfect anchorage and we motored around the coast to make our clearance, taking the time to gawp at all the superyachts crowding the entrance to Gustavia. Then after a short stroll around the deserted town we headed back round to Columbier to enjoy Christmas lunch.
Francois dispatched the lobsters on the back step and whilst I prepare the rest of the lunch, the boys amused themselves feeding bread to the 3ft remora fish swimming under the boat. We kicked off lunch with some chicken satays cooked on the barbeque, and followed it with grilled lobster with garlic butter and some rice and salad, washed down with Champagne and followed by fresh pineapple and melon. It was Steve’s first taste of lobster and not a bit was wasted as he delved into all the claws to get every little bit.
Adrian proved to be a great storyteller and everyone was in stitches listening to the tales of his exploits motor-biking and as a diver on the oil rigs.
The beautiful Caribbean sunset brought our perfect Christmas Day to a close.
Farewell to Steve
Boxing Day was also Steve’s last and we made a leisurely sail over to Philipsburg via Isle Forche, an uninhabited island with a picturesque sheltered bay for some swimming and snorkelling. And we finished up the Christmas trip with dinner on the waterfront as the Cruise Liners left the bay. Au revoir, Steve, and hope to see you again! Our next stop is the British Virgin Islands.
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