[Shane – this week I broke up an article I wrote summarizing our cruise for some sailing magazines. The first part was on Sunday, the second part was on Tuesday, and today is the final part. I would love to hear what you think of the article and the trip!]
St Eustatuis – Would you believe tiny, little Statia (as it is called) was once the trade capital of the Caribbean and would have up to 300 ships anchored in the roadstead. Well today is a different story and you might be one of only a couple boats as you look upon the shore and see a narrow strip of land between the water and the cliff behind it. On this strip of land, called Lower Town, is where you will find ruins of warehouses and wharfs. Many of them are underwater, making some great snorkeling. Ashore the fort, Dutch Church, and museum can all be explored in a couple hours, but my favorite activity was hiking to the rim of The Quill. This dormant volcano is a great hike and has a true rim and amazing views as you sit in the wispy clouds.
Saba – You will not hear me tell say this very often about an island, but I recommend you fly to Saba. The two anchorages are open and either very rough or a wet mile and a half dinghy ride away from the one place you can gain access to this almost impenetrable island. Now once you are a shore it is a totally different matter as you take in the Dutch Caribbean culture in the perfect little towns of The Bottom, Windwardside, St Johns, and Hell’s Gate. You should check out the hike to the top of Mt Scenery that is a very steep staircase, but well worth the exertion. We liked the Dutch Museum and the Saba Museum, but for me The Ladder was the must see, because it was how all goods and people got on the island until 1970. Another fun story is the Road That Couldn’t Be Built, which according to Dutch engineers was impossible. Leave it to the Sabeans to take a correspondence course on road building in the 1930’s and built it themselves.
Anguilla – A unplanned and unexpectantly delightful stop was on Anguilla. The one bad thing is you have to stay in Road Bay unless you get an expensive ($54 a day for my boat) cruising permit, but we simply rented a car and drove all over this island. There are 33 beaches and each one has a unique charm. My favorite is Little Bay, which is surrounded by cliffs. You either have to visit by boat or climb down the 50-foot cliff. Even though it is expensive I highly recommend getting the permit for at least a day. We took the boat to Sandy Island a mile for Road Bay to find a sandy paradise surrounded by perfect water. Next, we ventured 4-5 miles to the northwest for Prickly Pear Cays, which has a nice beach, two bars, and reef. The last stop was another 4-5 miles at Dog Island, which had another fun beach and zero bars. It also put us 10 miles closer to the BVI, which I needed to sail back to in order to get back to my charters.
This cruise was amazing and everything I had hoped. In fact, I am already thinking about next year’s cruise further south once I end my season in mid-April. Who wants to join? ????