Monday, Day 11
29 November 2010 | 17 33.11'N:61 46.07'W, A Spirited Sail
Monday, November 29
Sunday is definitely a day of rest in St. Barts. We arrived mid-morning to find the sidewalks still rolled up. In Gustavia, there were no mega yachts (well only one), no ocean-going sailing vessels (OK, White Wings and a couple of other beauties were tied up in the inner harbor), but there was definitely no sizzle, walk across the harbor yachtage, no look-at-me-IĆ-m-in-the-rich-and-famous crowd down around the quay. Most of the shops were shuttered. We hiked around town for a couple of hours, visited a couple of landmarks, had very cold, expensive beers at the La Route de Boucaniers, lunch at a tasty crepe shop, and then headed for Anse du Governeur, perhaps the best beach weĆ-ve visited, on the southern end of St. Barts.
There we swam ashore to try out the surf and walk the beach, then it was back to the boat for a dinner of ribs and beans. By the time the dishes were done, the boys were hoisting the doubled reef main and unfurling the working sail for an overnight, 50-some-odd beat to Barbuda.
When we were clear of the island, Tioga heeled to the wind and swell, and it wasnĆ-t long before the decks were awash and the drip, drip, drips had started below. But once again we were in freight-train mode. With her leeward rail dancing atop the waves, we screamed along under a dark, moonless sky. The stars overhead were absolutely remarkable and grew more so as we left the lights of St. Barts behind. Off to starboard, St. Kitts and Nevis glistened and the faded as we beat our way southeast.
Soon, way off in the distance, we began to see the glow of Antigua off to the side, but that island will wait a day or two more for us. Instead, our bow was pointed to Burbuda, a long flat island that lies well off the beaten track. All night we crashed through the boisterous seas; water rushed over the deck, poured over the dodger, and soaked anyone standing at the helm. Below, sleep was a challenge not overcome by many until we tacked around at 0400 and things settled down somewhat. By 8 a.m., we were well within the lee of the island and we began looking for the channel that would lead us inside the reef and take us to the anchorage at Cocoa Point.
Sitting here at anchor weĆ-re surround by the most turquoise of blue and green waters. Along the long stretch of beach in front of us, palms sway and thereĆ-s not a soul to be seen at the now-closed resorts that sporadically appear ashore. We celebrated our early morning arrival with a round of Caribes and followed those with French toast. With two zincs now installed on the shaft and prop (see Team Tioga hard at work in the photo), the boys are swimming to the beach.
IĆ-d be a fool not to follow.
This post is made possible by Iridium and Global Marine Networks.