Saturday, April 14, 2012

Disappointing St. Kitts

The north end of the harbor area where we anchored
We sailed from Pinney’s Beach near Charlestown, Nevis over to Basseterre, St. Kitts. Again, good winds and a nice beam reach. It is only 10 miles or so. Just a nice morning sail. 

St. Kitts is a twin-island state with British tradition and about 50,000 inhabitants, compared to Nevis with 12,000. St. Kitts does not have a great anchorage for sailboats. It has a harbor with a marina (Port Zante), but the slips are all taken by local boaters. There are no marine services – such as, fuel! 

The new town designed for cruise ship tourists
There is a deep water port for the cargo ships and tankers and a large dock for the cruise ships. However, there is not much for the smaller yachts. And the anchorage is very rolly since there is little protection.

We found St. Kitts to be very disappointing.
So you ask: what was so disappointing about St. Kitts?

Between the old town and the water, some developers have created a 25 acre waterfront where businesses from St. Martin have built and opened stores. It feels like a low-end St. Thomas Grande Yacht Haven! Everyone is outside their stores trying to get you to come in and buy. There was a lot of junk. Of course, the duty-free jewelry and liquor stores are there, too.

It is obvious that since the end of the sugar cane business, they have made a decision to attract cruise ships.  You can even pay to have your photo taken with a tiny monkey!

The archway leads to the old town and
the museum is upstairs
Even though the cruising guides discuss the green fertile land and “outstanding visual beauty,” we were disheartened when we went ashore. Granted, we did not take a taxi ride or the luxury train ride through the old plantation areas or around the island.

Basseterre is the capital city of St. Kitts and is the site of the original French settlement. Built on the waterfront, the architecture varies from British to French. It was rebuilt after a fire in 1876 with a circle, known as the Circus (modeled after Piccadilly in London) in the center of the old town. 
Costumes in the museum
We did visit the National Museum in the old Treasury Building, where we learned about the rise and decline of the sugar industry, as well as how the slaves lived and worked.

Interesting architecture on this church

And the old tomb stones
We spent a lot of our time in the Ballyhoo restaurant using the free Wi-Fi and enjoying frozen mango smoothies while working on our computers. At least it was a good connection - with an occasional power blip- so we were able to catch up on work and correspondence. And the building was not rocking and rolling! The actual town is quite small, like most of these harbor towns.

Dennis investigated an old church that is in the old town area. Tombstones from very early dates told of the history of the area. I found a bakery for fresh bread, croissants and a wonderful slice of chocolate cake!

Another annoying thing was the car with loud speakers on top going through the old town announcing places one should go for this and that. How obnoxious! That was enough for me to NEVER go to those establishments! I couldn’t wait to get out of that area. I doubt that we will ever return to St. Kitts. Nevis, probably.
Sunset over Basseterre harbor

At least we had pretty sunrises and sunsets in the Nevis-St. Kitts area. There were several double rainbows, too. However, we did not get much sleep in the harbor. I was ready to move on to St. Eustacia just a few miles away. Although, we know the anchorage there is also known for an uncomfortable night!

No comments:

Post a Comment

We would love to hear from you here. You can see earlier posts at