We’ve arrived at Saint-Barthélemy

Friday morning up bright and early and we were on our way by 8 o’clock to make the run down to Saint-Barthélemy. The wind was around 15 knots and we enjoyed the downwind run along the north coast of Anguilla under headsail alone. As we turned around the bottom of Anguillita we got the main out for a reach across the Anguilla passage towards St Martin. Great sailing…. Bye Anguilla… 

However, when we started to run alongside St Martin the wind died on us and we were beating into building swelly seas and getting very salty. But we were determined to carry on sailing and were rewarded with winds that topped 20 knots and we were having a great time. But about 10 miles out the wind died again and we were not making much headway at all even with all three sails out … so we ended up motoring the rest of the way. We eventually arrived at Gustavia at 3.30 pm having covered 32 miles.

We knew that this was a popular French island – and boy, there are boats everywhere, of all shapes and sizes. Even the 390 feet $300mn+ superyacht A is here….. Deciding where to position ourselves safely was difficult – the anchorages are hugely crowded with very little swinging room between boats…. The harbour has some bow and stern mooring balls laid out but these were all full…. And going stern to one of the docks was starting to look very attractive until the wind picked up and we realised that we’d have to reverse into the strengthening wind – not our favourite pastime. Morphie really doesn’t like going backwards in a straight line! So we headed further out of Gustavia to Corossol which is tucked away to the left of the shipping line. It was a bit deep at 30 feet but luckily we managed to find a sandy spot to drop in and got a good set straight away. Phew…. and not many boats around us. Happy days!

We dinked in to do our customs and immigration clearance – all on computer again. Really simple –except that the French territories do not use a qwerty keyboard so as a trained touch typist I am making mistakes all other the shop… Who would, in their right mind, put the letter ‘a’ on the top line???? Anyway with some help from the very charming Capitanaire we got checked in and paid a total of €27 for three nights at anchor in the outside bay. Had a couple of cold ones at a local brasserie on the boardwalk and then went back to Morphie for a quiet night on board enjoying the spectacular sunset.

This morning we had a French patisserie breakfast and wandered Gustavia a bit – this place is full of historic buildings, up-market designer shops and quaint pink-roofed villas set into the hillside. This is definitely a rich and famous destination! Went to the chandlery and got a few things and did a few bits of food shopping and now back on board. Going to go out for dinner tonight – if we can find somewhere we can afford mind – and planning a taxi tour of the island tomorrow. We found out that this was actually cheaper than hiring a car and I’m sure a couple of hours will be enough to cover this tiny little mountainous place.


Bye for now