After a frustrating “not much wind to write home about sort of day”, we reached Charlestown on Nevis just as the wind decided to get up for the day. We were being tailed by Andy and Allison on Venture Lady who had come across from Jolly Harbour. We motored just south of the town to the mooring field off Pinney’s Beach and picked up what looked like a good mooring (but who knows here in the Caribbean).
We then had a choppy dinghy ride into town and tied up to the dinghy dock, just south of the Ferry terminal. You can’t lock dinghies up but everyone says it isn’t a problem here.
Andy and Allison passed on the long dinghy ride and instead put their dinghy on the beach and walked into town.
Due to the profitable Slave Trade and the high quality of its sugar cane, the island soon became a dominant source of wealth for Great Britain and was given the nickname “Queen of the Caribbean”. The cane juice from Nevis yielded an unusually high amount of sugar and this made Nevis very rich and very influential in the British Empire as the plantation owners bought themselves seats of parliament back in England.
The check in was easy, and the Customs, Port and Immigration folks were really nice – something we came to see with everyone on this island. After exploring the town, we headed into Pinney’s Beach and Sunshine for one of their famous Killer Bee rum punches. None of us stuck to the recommended dosage of just the one – something we regretted the next morning.
Hence next morning, a swim was required to clear our heads. The water was nice and clear with a weedy bottom and lots of turtles. We swam to shore and walked through the Four Seasons resort where all the rich and famous supposedly stay. However having failed to spot even a minor celebrity, we swam back to the boat and headed into town for some touristy stuff.
The main attraction is the house where Andrew Hamilton was born and spent his early childhood, which has now been turned into a nice museum with lots of stuff about the guy who helped engineer the US constitution and the modern financial system before being killed in a duel. Interesting stuff after just watching the HBO series on John Adams, the second American President, who had a lot to do with Hamilton.
As well as Hamilton, Nevis’es other famous historical figure was Horatio Nelson who was stationed here as a young sea captain, and is where he met and married Frances Nisbet, the young widow of a plantation-owner from the island.
Next stop was the hot springs that flow through the town but these turned out to be too hot and I got as far as my knees before giving them a miss. The view from the old building behind was worth a look see.
We then checked out the local music scene and found that a band was playing at Qualie Beach that evening so we up’ed mooring and meandered up the coast 5nm to the shallow anchorage off Qualie beach. It turned out to be an excellent move as the owner of the small resort and bar was really into his music and we were treated to a succession of good musicians, some of which just seemed to materialise from the crowd. We did the proverbial dance the night away to a whole heap of our favourite rock and roll tunes.
Next morning it was up early for a sail up to St Kitts. We were heading to St Kitts Marine Works on the north of the island to get our SD50 sail drive looked at. The alarm for water in between the seals was going off, and it wasn’t lying when I pulled the sensor off to have a looksee myself.
Marine Works advertises itself as a marina but really it’s a good boat lifter and yard where they bury keels and tie boats down for the hurricane season. The mechanic they dug up for us didn’t instill us with much confidence, they couldn’t work out how to order the necessary parts and La Mischief was getting pulled and battered tied up to the surgey dock – so we said our goodbyes and checked out of St Kitts and Nevis. Marine Works had a customs office on site but I needed to catch a local bus to the police station to get our passports stamped out.
So off we headed to St Eustatus, which we could make before nightfall, on our way to Sint Maarten where we knew we could get our problem attended to.