As you can probably tell by the blogs we have written, we loved our time on St Kitts & Nevis. It is so laid back and there is just enough tourism for historical sites to be maintained, to have a good variety of restaurants, and other services we need are provided. Part of the reason there are not more boats here is due to the lack of anchorages. St Kitts basically has four and Nevis has two.
Since the trade winds come from the east (sometimes north of east and sometimes south of east) that only leaves the west coasts available to safely anchor our boats. Starting at the north end of St Kitts you will find a small boat yard call St Kitts Marine Works. It is about a quarter of the way down the island and sits under the Brimstone Hill Fort. Right now it is only a yard with about four slips, but there are plans to build a proper 40 slip marina. It is not the prettiest place to have your boat, but it is super convenient to explore the north part of the island and the bus goes right by it.
The next spot is the capital, Basseterre, which is just past halfway down the island. Due to the fact the bay (and island for that matter) sits in a NW to SE manner, any time the winds is east or south the anchorage is choppy. During these times you can either deal with it (it sucks though), go into the little marina, or anchor over in the Deep Water port (nice and calm, but very industrial!)
The best anchorage in St Kitts is White House Bay. This bay should be calm from north winds all the way to south winds and it is protected from the north swell. The problem here is that you are at the southern end of the island. All the beaches are down here, which is great, but it is also where the tourist go. There are lots of taxis, but no buses. When the wind is north of east you can also anchor off the beaches of Frigate Bay and Friars Bay. Both are only a mile or two north of White House Bay.
The final anchorage is on the short southern coast. Shitten Bay and Bug’s Hole have horrible names, but the snorkeling is fantastic. I just would not spend the night there. My favorite spot was in the NE corner of Cockleshell Bay, but I would not want to be there if the wind was south of east.
Over in Nevis it is even simpler to tell you about anchorages, because the main one is just north of Charlestown, off of Pinney’s Beach. It is pretty exposed, but the wind would have to be SE or more. I would think the northern swell is blocked quite a bit, but there was none when I was there. The other spot is Oualie Beach on the NW corner. Looking on the charts you would not think this is that good of protection, but my cruising guide says it is excellent.
I hope this helps you in your planning. I have to admit I am torn, because one part of me wants everyone to enjoy this “off the beaten track” paradise like we did, but the other part of me wants to keep it relatively unknown. Hehe.