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The Baars' Adventure Aboard EIRA
Menno, Valerie, Daniel, John and their dog Daisy are off to explore the Caribbean Islands for two years-no-make that three years!
Pinney Beach
05/20/2006, Nevis

Nevis is separated from St Kitts by a 2 mile channel. Sailing up to Nevis it looks like a dark green cone with clouds capping its peak. Mount Nevis is usually crowned with white clouds, as though the mountain were covered with snow. Christopher Colombus named the island Las Nieves, after a range of snow capped mountains in Spain.
We anchored north of Charlestown, the capital, off a beautiful coconut lined beach called Pinney's Beach with Mount Nevis in the distance. There were 6 other boats anchored here. It was a rainy afternoon but we went to the beach for a while and played then Paul and Karin came over for cocktails. We only stayed here one day and will continue on in the morning. We still have not had any luck fishng... we always have both poles out but not even a nibble. This dry spell is not good!

Back at the Dock
05/19/2006, St Kitts

St Kitts is green and covered in rain forest. Its mountain range is often covered with passing clouds and the land is very fertile with sugar cane being its main crop. Christopher Columbus came upon the island in 1493 and named it after his patron saint, St Christopher. For more than a century the British and French fought over St Kitts, after first battling the Carib Indians. The British finally got St Kitts in 1783 under the Treaty of Versailles and it remained a British Colony until 1983 when full independence was established.

We pulled into the capital, Basseterre on a Friday afternoon and it was in sharp contrast to the sleepy city of Oranjestad in Statia. Basseterre is a big, bustling city. Lots of street vendors selling fresh coconut , fruits, clothing, bootleg CD's and DVD's,
most anything you may want! Lots of young men just hanging out drinking beer and chatting, music on most every corner- a very busy town! Most men have the long dreadlocks or hair piled high atop their heads. Daniel and John were busy taking all of these sights in! We walked to immigrations to clear in then over to The Circus for a cold drink. The Circus is modeled after Picadilly in London.
The anchorage off of the town is also open to the easterly swells so we choose to go into the brand new marina, Port Zante. Cost was only .50 us cents/foot with water and electric included. Great! We gave Eira a good cleaning, filled up our tanks, did some hand wash and the boys could watch as many movies as they liked! John said it beautifully, "Life is good, we have all of the water and electriciy that we want. What else do we need?" Spoken like a true "cruiser!" I have to add that the bathrooms were by far the cleanest bathrooms I have ever been in! The boys took 2 showers a day! Ahh, the simple things in life please us so!

A Friendly Island in the Clouds
05/18/2006, St. Eustatia

We left St. Barts and had a brisk 6 hour sail to the volcanic island of St. Eustatia or Statia. St Eustatius (Statia), St Christopher (St Kitts), Nevis and Montserrat are four small volcanic islands that rise steeply from the sea till their peaks touch the clouds. Statia is the lowest and rises nearly 2000 feet and the island is only 5 miles long. St Kitts is the tallest at 4000 feet high. The high mountains trap passing moisture, which keeps them lush and green year round.

Statia is a small island with a large history. It is part of the Dutch Antilles, though it does operate to some degree autonomously. During the late 1700's Statia was the trade capital of th Indies. During these years the European powers were fighting each other and the British were unsuccessfully trying to put down the American rebels! The Dutch remained neutral and opened Statia as a free port. It became possible to buy or sell anything here , goods were available from all over the world: silk, silver, gold, guns, sugar, tobacco, cotton and slaves. In the first 200 years after Colombus discovered it, the island changed hands 22 times!
In 1776 the Andrew Doria, an American Navy vessel came into the harbour and fired a salute. Governor de Graff returned the salute and thus the Dutch were the first nation to salute an American vessel since the United States declared its independence from England. This gesture so enraged the British that they sacked the town and destroyed the harbour's breakwater causing the houses and warehouses to tumble into the sea. The island has never recovered.
Today Statia has a population of 2,000 and it is a very friendly, peaceful island. Fort Oranje has been beautifully restored by the Dutch governement. We spent one day in Oranjestad and Daisy came ashore with us to explore the island. John discovered where almonds grow, in big trees, the island has many almond trees! The anchorage is open to the easterly swells so this made for a miserable night on Eira! We had dinner ashore and came back to the boat in time for bed, knowing it was going to be a uncomfortable night! Daniel and John fell asleep and slept through the night however Paul, Menno and I were kept awake most of the night due to the roll of Eira! We upped anchor at daybreak and continued onto St Kitts.

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