So it has taken us forever to find the right place to update the blog. We have tried several times while onshore at cafes or bars but keep running into the same problem. The wifi connection has not been strong enough to upload photos. It actually turns out to be way easier to write and mail postcards than it has been to update the blog. So we spent a nice afternoon sitting at a quiet restaurant on the side of a hill on Saba and wrote postcards!
After we caught up on sleep anchored at Maho Bay, St. John's we had a wonderful rendezvous at Peter Island with Clare, Charlie, Una and Lucy from Portsmouth on their boat LUNACY. From there, we headed over to Foxy's at Jost Van Dyke. They got hit really hard by the hurricanes but the bar is up and running. Most of the other beach bars there are simply gone. Here's the view from the top of the hill looking east.
Early morning hike up to the top of Jost Van Dyke.
Here's Jeff hanging some CA license plates that Carl asked us to contribute to the decor at Foxy's. They are hung with shoelaces from the old Portsmouth skate shop Identity and inscribed on the back "in honor of the Green Team"
It took us about 30 hours to sail from the Virgin Islands to Saba. On other trips we have sailed right past without stopping because it is very difficult to get ashore unless the conditions are just right. Until quite recently, the only way to land and get ashore was to crash onto the cobble beach and then climb up something like 800 steps that are carved into the side of the cliff you can see in the background. We anchored next to the 3,000 foot cliffs and then had a harrowing ride in the dinghy to get to the dock that was around the corner from the boat. The wind was blowing hard and the waves were high and we both got soaked. That is the other reason why we have taken awhile to update the blog.......sometimes the risk of putting the computer and the phone into the dinghy is too great knowing we might get drenched.
We spent an enjoyable day exploring Saba, walking around the village, chatting with locals, and a delicious lunch surrounded by a spectacular view of the harbor and the tidy houses that are all beautifully maintained. This is an island that loves its historical architecture.
Houses on Saba are all painted white with red roofs, and green shutters. Many of them have elaborate gingerbread molding around the doorways. I can imagine that the Historic District Commission has it pretty easy on Saba! No negotiating about roof materials, no discussion about shutter hinges, and no chance of anyone deviating from the tradition. Keep it simple and it works!
Our next stop was at Sint Eustatia, also known as Statia. Completely different feel here, with lots of old houses that are abandoned, but really friendly people. There is a large oil terminal here that dominates the harbor and probably has prevented any fancy hotels from being developed here.
CHANTICLEER at anchor in Statia Harbor among oil tankers.
We got up really early while it was still cool to hike up to the rim of the inactive volcano on Statia. On our way back to the boat we came across a woman setting up her market table with organic veggies she had picked that morning. Spinach, eggplant, chives, celery, and pomegranates.
From Statia, we had easy sail to Nevis. Here's Jeff, doing marketing for the Gundalow Company and Picton Castle! We are ashore at Nevis today visiting Janet and Peter Dinan and Melissa Carter and Jack Kane. A chance to catch up on news from Portsmouth - Breaking New Grounds is CLOSED????? - and hoping to see the monkeys. Janet gave me a photo to share here just in case none show up while we are sitting on their beautiful porch looking across the Narrows to St. Kitts. We expect to leave tomorrow, although we had a glitch with Customs and immigration when we told them we plan to stop at Guadeloupe next and they could not find the right three letter code for Guadeloupe which made the computer balk at our paperwork. There is a new law here that requires boaters to fill out this form or else be fined $10,000. We may be stuck here for days.....oh well.