Us on Brimstone Hill in St Kitts

[Shane – on Sunday I told you how I wrote an article and submitted it to some sailing magazines, but I was letting my readers read it first. This is the second part and continues from Sunday’s blog]

Me working the capstan at Nelson's DockyardAntigua – Of all the islands we visited, Antigua is the one I need to revisit just to see everything I missed. There are coves and anchorages to explore all around the island and thanks to a long reef the north and east coast are available also. Antigua is a great hub for cruising, because of all the services available. We stayed at Falmouth Harbor next to English Harbor and visited the Nelson Dockyard, which is one of only four World Heritage Sites in the Lesser Antilles. This historic shipyard took care of the English fleet for over a hundred years and now it is an active working museum that you can dock your boat at. One tip I can give you is to make sure you check in/out at Jolly Harbor instead of English Harbor to save a lot of money.

Montserrat - Melek - Pointing to Volcano

This was the capital and the volcano is in the background.

Montserrat – Back in 1995 Mt Soufriere started erupting and buried Plymouth, the capital of Montserrat, under mud. Two thirds of the island is uninhabitable and 10,000 of the 15,000 residents had to abandon their island. Today you can get a wonderful tour of the destruction by Joe Phillips. Make sure you ask him to take you into Plymouth, which will cost a little more but is well worth it. You will anchor at Little Bay, which has a nice beach, but I like the beach at Rendezvous Bay better and you can dinghy there or have a great hike over the hill. I was amazed at how wonderful and happy the people are given the hardship they have suffered and I know you will love this island as we did.

Nevis green back monkeyNevis – Our favorite island’s name is a corruption of the Spanish word for snow, because Christopher Columbus saw the permanent cloud sitting above the peak on Nevis and called the island Our Lady of the Snows. What sold us on this island, besides the beauty and coolness of the mountain and cloud, was a hike we did from Golden Rock estate to Hermitage House estate. It turns out the Hermitage House is the oldest wooden house in the Caribbean and is a wonderful spot to have lunch after the hike. We also liked soaking our feet in the hot spring near the Bath Hotel of 1778, which is the first resort in the Caribbean, and the Botanical Gardens was gorgeous. Nevis is known for being the birthplace of both Alexander Hamilton and the wife of Admiral Nelson. The other famous residents are the green back monkeys.

Napping At Brimstone hill on St KittsSt Kitts – The other part of this country is St Kitts, which at first did not impress us. That was due to the lack of anchorages. Basically, you have White House Bay with a good anchorage on the southern end. There are a couple other fun bays around this area. After that you have the anchorage off Basseterre, the capital, but you will not be comfortable if the winds are south of east. Luckily you can get a slip in the marina and towards the northwest end of the island is St Kitts Marine Works, which also has a few slips. Once ashore the secrets of this island start to reveal themselves. The main attraction is Brimstone Hill Fort, which is a World Heritage Site, where we spent half a day exploring. You also have Caribelle Batik at Romney Manor where you can see the making of beautiful fabrics and explore a sugar factory ruins that was run on water power. The last thing we did was ride the St Kitts Scenic Railroad, the last railroad in the Caribbean. A little secret, if you go tell them you ARE NOT on a cruise ship and save a ton of money.


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