The north eastern Islands are comprised of Anguilla, St Martin, St Barts, Saba, St Eustatius (Statia) St Kitts, Nevis, Montserrat and going east is Barbuda and Antigua also includes Green Island and Nonsuch Bay. A Lot has been written about St Martin/ Sint Marteen and it is very hard for me to add much but I will mention the nice beaches of Gran Case, Orient Bay, Cupcoye and Great Bay in Philipsburg. These are all wonderful beaches to visit.
This was our third visit to St Martin with the Maltese Falcon. This time we spent almost three weeks in St Martin, anchored in Marigot Bay on the French side. One day we rented a car with friends and went around the whole island and to the highest peak. It was great and lots of fun.
When we left St Martin we headed up around the north of the island to get a better point of sail to St Barts. We spent a couple of days on a mooring in the lovely bay of Anse Columbier, the moorings here are free and very well kept. Then we went and spent a couple of days anchored outside the capital Gustavia. This is the place for the rich and famous, a lot of mega yachts visit here. I was amazed watching one of these big boys backing into a spot in between two other boats, with hardly room to spare in the inner harbour, after dropping two anchors forward.
After Leaving St Barts we decided to head toward St Kitts, if the trade winds were strong we would have headed south but the weather forecast called for light east winds for the next few days. Therefore heading east to St Kitts would be okay. We motor-sailed around the north end and then down the west of the island St Kitts towards Basseterre. The scenery was awesome with Mt Limuiga rising 3792 ft above sea level and sloping down to farmland, from a distance the island looks like a hat. We anchored in 20 ft of water over volcanic sand. We had only one other boat in this anchorage and it was a Canadian boat called Mi Amante out of Goderich, Ontario. We took a local bus up and around each side of the island, and it were very relaxing.
|Lillian at Grand Case St Martin|
After a couple of days we picked up anchor as sometimes it gets very rolly and headed south towards sister island Nevis and anchored near Charlestown in 18 ft of water over beautiful white sand. Many other boats were anchored here along the west coast of the island. We were very surprised that the anchorage was so calm in comparison to St Kitts. Here we also took the local bus around the island and we can say that Nevis is nicer and more picturesque than St Kitts, also the beaches are white sand instead of black lava sand, so they are easier to walk on, as they don’t get hot.
After two days we headed toward Montserrat. We set our fishing lure with the 200 lb test line and motor-sailed in light southeast winds. In the distance we could see Mt Soufriere spewing smoke from every crack it has since the eruption 9 years ago. When close to the Kingdom of Redonda the cloths peg that we have attached to the fishing line snapped which signals a bite. I started bringing in the line and I could see it was something very shiny and bluish in color like a Mahi mahi. As I pulled it closer to the boat I found out it was a very large barracuda with its ugly dentures, large head and all the other markings. I wasn’t going to bring this aboard while still alive; they sure make a big fuss and snap their jaws at anything. Therefore we had to let it die and then cut it up for fish food, as it is not a good fish for human consumption around this area due to high levels of Ciguatera poison.
|Philpsburg, Dutch St Martin|
After a few minutes later the cloths peg snapped again and another barracuda and we had to do the whole process again. The rest of the way was uneventful. We anchored in Little Bay on the North West cost of Montserrat in 30 ft of clear dark blue water over sand and settled down for the day. I kept thinking and pondering, why we cannot catch any fish that we can eat at least, lost many lures and the only once I have left are the large 8 inch once that are a little too big.
Well we went by taxi to see the buried capital of Plymouth; it was a little depressing to see such devastation. The next morning we upped anchor to head towards Deshaeis In the north west of Guadalupe, a distance of about 40 nm. We motor-sailed around the north coast of Montserrat and carried on down the coast heading towards Guadalupe.
Read the next article to find out what happened on the way to Guadalupe.