Wednesday, May 26, 2010

May 21, 2010 - Anse de Colombier, St. Barts

Our guest blogger extraordinaire

We have two guests on board with us for the weekend, Kate and Deb. When we first invite people to stay on board with us we never know how they are going to acclimate to boat life. Kate, who spent a few nights on board with us in a marina in South Africa was a known entity, but we didn't know how Deb would do on the boat. We're happy to say that she's a natural. She is probably the least prone to seasickness out of all of us, including Sten. She also quickly discovered Sten's secret that the best place to sleep is in the cockpit. In addition, she helps with the dishes and writes the blog for me. This is one guest who is welcome back any time. Without further ado, here is Deb's daily update [with a few notes by me in brackets]:

----- Original Message -----

I woke up this morning to a beautiful daybreak, having spent the night on deck, in the fresh and warm Caribbean air. I had no idea what time it was (and didn't care), but knew that we'd be upping anchor around 9 and would head to Ile Forchue when the bridge opened at 930.

Right on target, we left Simpson Bay Lagoon at 930, but were heading directly into the wind. Danika and Sten put up the main and we motorsailed to Ile Forchue; arriving into the beautiful area at just after noon. [As we motored into the bay we passed a small French yacht that was having a difficult time picking up a mooring. As we drove by we had a front row seat for the yelling and could see how awkward and embarrassing it can be when things go wrong while trying to anchor, moor or dock a boat. And then, with Sten driving and Danika on the bow, we picked up our mooring on the first try. They were both clearly relieved that it went off without a hitch.] Danika treated us to a lunch of aged gouda, apples and wheat crackers, which we enjoyed (err ... devoured) before getting ready for our afternoon activities.

This guy really wanted to share our lunch

Next on our (very loose) agenda was some light hiking, which led to some of the prettiest views I've seen in quite some time. It was interesting to hike in such a natural environment, where there aren't yet trails to guide you along the route. Kate, Danika and I made it almost to the top (but didn't see the benefit in potentially ruining our nails to scramble the rest of the way up), while Sten went over the top and down the other side.

[Sten was above us on the descent when we realized that he'd been in the same spot for a while. We called up to find out what was keeping him. He responded that he had one of the mean cactus that populate the hillside stuck to his toe and his flip flop. And in trying to remove it he had gotten it also stuck to his hand. He was just trying to work up the gumption to yank it out of his palm before coming down. We tried not to laugh at him too much, but it was pretty comical.]

When we reached the bottom, it was time for a swim, so we jumped in to cool off. Danika, Kate and I swam back to Mata'irea (Sten took the dingy with our shoes/cameras) and then we did some snorkeling around the boat before moving on to our final destination for the day: Anse de Colombier (St Barts).

Kate donned a headscarf as part of her gambit to convince us to hire her on as our new galley slave
W[ith Kate assisting Danika on the bow] we picked up a mooring that was close to the beach and, while the ladies snorkeled around the shore, Sten began to prepare our evening feast. After getting cleaned up, we had pre-dinner wine tasting and were then treated to an unbelievable dinner of leg of lamb (rubbed in fresh garlic, ginger and pepper), tabbouleh, grilled veggies and a lovely red wine that Kate, Danika and Sten had tried (and purchased) in South Africa a few months back. We finished the night with a slide show from Kate's photo safari in Sabi Sabi and then we settled in for a good night's sleep. [True to form, Sten and I were snoozing away in the cockpit well before the end of the slide show.]

----- End of Original Message -----

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