Our arrival in Saint Maarten happened to coincide with the 32nd annual heineken sailing regatta. The closing party was held Sunday night on Kim Sha beach right in front of where we were anchored in Simpson bay. We headed ashore to check it out and had a great night meeting a lot of fun people from all over the world. The music was excellent and the line up included the world famous raggae singer Beres Hammond.
Sunday 19th February
If I had to choose an island to live on in the Eastern Caribbean it would probably be St.Barts (Saint Barthelemy), with it's french charm and beautiful landscape it's almost hypnotic and extremely peaceful. Supposedly Columbus sailed past the island and thought it so beautiful that he named it after his brother. Along with the islands of Saint Martin, Guadaloupe and Martinique, Saint Barts makes up the group known as the French West Indies.
Our first stop was to anchor off the main port of Gustavia, the great thing about the French islands is they're cheap and easy to check into so after a quick stop at the Port Captains office we were free to roam the town. Gustavia is full of great little boutiques and cafes that skirt the shore line and wonderful place to just sit and people watch. After picking some French goodies in the supermarket the following day we upped anchor and headed around to the north west corner of the island and picked up a mooring in Colombier bay.
Monday 13th February
We have a new favourite Caribbean island, yes as usual we tend to always be falling in love with wherever we happen to be at the time and Barbuda is no exception. Our plan was never to come to this far north as we've been looking forward to 'turning the corner' and heading further west in the chain. However, on the morning of leaving Jolly Harbour we noticed the wind and sea was unusually calm and instead of sailing to the island of Nevis we made a quick sail change and headed the 30 miles north to Barbuda...we're very glad we did.
With a population of around 1,500 Barbuda forms part of the state Antigua and Barbuda. Most of the inhabitants live in the town of Codrington, named after the two brothers who originally leased the island back in 1685. The family used the island to grow crops and keep slaves before sending them on to Antigua to be sold. In 1834 the slaves were freed and today the island is owned communally which means no big resorts or hotels can be built without the locals say so. For this reason Barbuda remains one of the more untouched islands in the Eastern Caribbean.
We found this abandoned hotel above and explored it's rooms and grounds that are slowly being reclaimed by nature...eerie but beautiful!
The two main attractions on the island are the famous Frigate bird colony, consisting of over 5,000 birds, and the miles and miles of untouched pink beaches. We anchored off the Western coast along 11 mile beach and spent four glorious days walking and swimming the beach...without seeing another soul!
Thursday 9th February
Here to find out more of their great story!