I can hardly believe I turned 32 years old in Nevis. I have to admit that it was pretty exciting not knowing exactly where we’d be amongst Leeward Islands to celebrate my birthday. We stayed on the move with Vagabond until we found the perfect locale. Most importantly though, it had to be a place where we could comfortably ride out more strong easterly trades. That being said, the anchorages have been everything but comfortable lately. After exploring Nevis for a few days, and getting in some good sleeps, we all agreed to stay here for my birthday.
St. Kitts was a bit of a disappointment. The best part about it was the quiet, cheap marina where we caught 2 nights of desperately needed sleep rafted up to Vagabond who was tied to a seawall at Port Zante Marina. We’re getting good at this rafting up stuff! We haven’t been tied to a dock since Puerto Rico; it’s just not in the budget but we were forced into it because the anchorage in Basseterre was just rockin’ and rollin’ like crazy.
Anyhow, the marina is next to the cruise ship dock where thousands of people were getting dumped off for excursions. Get this, there’s not even a beach in Basseterre! Everyone is trying to make money when a cruise ship pulls into town and getting monkeys thrown in your face, literally, is just part of it. You see, the Immigration office was inconveniently located on the cruise ship dock where we were forced into the zoo. In one day I had 7 green velvet monkeys thrown on me for a picture. The handlers don’t even ask, they want your money so bad. Though it was fun, and made for a great picture, it’s a sad situation for the animals. Some of them looked so dehydrated, sick or tired. The handlers were equally doped out of their minds, asking us to buy from them. None of us paid a dime for the pictures, by the way, I just refuse. Basseterre is just a dirty little town, not even safe enough for people like us to go grab a pizza for dinner, it’s that bad. We did however score some lobster fresh off the boat next to us. I steamed up the tails, made some garlic butter, meanwhile Lindsay cooked up a pasta side, and we all ate like kings.
Of the two islands in this country, Nevis is definitely the better half of this region. Their bumper sticker slogan says “Nice Nevis” and it’s spot on, completely opposite of St. Kitts. We are on a mooring ball in front of Pinney’s Beach and have had many good sleeps here! The town is cute, clean and most importantly, people are friendly. Nevis has a beautiful farmer’s market and several decent grocery stores. We’ve discovered the town bakery too. Trent loves their sandwiches. Thanks to The Wirie, we’re pulling fantastic internet out on the water from Four Seasons Resort. We’ve visited the resort a few times this week too, wink, wink. Stunning pool. The four of us even enjoyed a complimentary dinner there on the eve of my birthday. To die for! Dan made me my favorite banana waffles for breakfast and gave me my own waffle iron to use on a propane stove. Now, that’s a thoughtful, useful gift for a sailor girl. Oh and one of our new neighbor friends on the water had a high horsepower dinghy and he generously slung me around on a pair of water skis off Pinney’s Beach. I popped up immediately and let go of the grip perfectly back at Pepper like a rock star, haha. Birthday luck!
I wanted to hike up to Nevis Peak for my birthday; it’s only 3,200 feet above sea level but we hiked around for nearly 5 hours and never did find the correct trail head. We certainly found ourselves aside the mountain over 1,000 feet up in the thickest of prickly thickets trying to find landmarks. The tourism office strongly encourages you to hire a guide to conquer this mountain but I thought we could do it with some GPS coordinates and a marine grade handheld GPS. The problem with a marine GPS is that it doesn’t show roads or landmarks because it’s meant for use on the water. We had a map to correspond but just couldn’t quite find the way. Never-the-less we had a pleasurable hike and relished the beauty of Nevis in our own way. It was remarkable to see dozens of wild green velvet monkeys swinging around. They weren’t tame enough to take a banana from us, curious enough not to run away but always keeping a safe distance. We plan to try and climb Nevis Peak again this weekend. I want to see inside that volcano!
After our long day of getting lost on Nevis, Dan and Lindsay cooked up the most delicious hamburger birthday dinner on Vagabond. Since neither of us really has a freezer, red meat is a real treat for everyone. To top that off, he made the most wonderful, decadent, two layered chocolate cake. It’s amazing that you can make things like waffles and cake out on a sailboat if you really work at it. Small galley, moving countertops and hard to find ingredients are just the beginning of the challenges of cooking on a boat…I’m still savoring the cake 2 days later. I don’t want it to end. Trent gave me, and already installed, a new fan! I know that sounds so silly but we really needed another one. It’s just been so terribly hot and these little marine fans are costly but they make all the difference in the world when you don’t have an air conditioner. It’s the little things!