17 January 2010 | Gustavia
Bob, cloudy with squalls
We're on the move now, after our passage from the BVI's to St. Marten both Alice and I were hit with the flu, yea gads THE FLU!! For Alice it was the sore throat, headaches and nasal congestion, seven days and counting. For me, an asthmatic, colds usually settle into my lungs and make breathing very difficult, painful. I also had the other stuff but the breathing was tough. It's as if you took in as large a volume of air as you could and with your lungs full tried to restart breathing normally, there's just no room; darn this asthma I really think after some 62 years it's time to move on.
So the net of all this complaining is that we stayed several days in Grand Case, on the French side of the island. At first we didn't even go ashore, and then slowly our energy levels returned to make the dinghy ride in and back. We found this very friendly café on the beach and set up camp there for at least four days. Internet connection was great, the wine, dinners, salads and people watching were just what the doctor ordered for two sick ole fogies. Eventually though it's time to get-out-of-dodge, so with getting to Barbuda high on our priority list we struck out first for St. Barts twelve miles along the way. We sailed around the north east corner of St. Marten between Tintemarre and Ile Pinel; as we rounded, St. Barts appeared on the horizon and just a little further around the corner was tall very majestic Saba. It was a little hazy but beyond Saba we could set Statia, St. Kitts and Nevis, all mountainous islands standing proud.
A quick comment about the east side of St. Marten because it was so striking to me. To this point most of the ground cover in the mountains consists of trees and cactus, here on the east side Mother Nature tried something different. It was if she found the perfect green Berber-textured out-door carpet and gently laid it down over the mountains and the valleys. She tucked it in for a perfect form fit that was strikingly different from elsewhere; wonderful to experience.
We dropped the anchor for the night in the harbor of Ile Fourchue. Barren, something you would expect to see in the southwest deserts. Apparently wild goats completely destroyed the vegetation and ultimately themselves, now astronauts could train here for their trips to Mars.
This morning we travelled a very short two miles to Anse du Colombier, a beautiful harbor on the North West corner of St. Barts. The French government has installed moorings for visitors to this marine park and the price is perfect, zero Euros. We will stay here for several days, recovering, swimming, exploring and planning our next passage to Barbuda. The winds are a little less than favorable for the next few days so this piece of paradise will be our home. We may power around to Gustavia the main town or we may not. Gustavia is home to the Caribbean rich and famous. Cruise ships anchored out in the harbor, mega-yachts everywhere and our little Luck Bird; since we've sailed into St. Barts on other charter trips we may take a pass. Who knows, that's the beauty of time and freedom.