Saturday, January 16, 2016

In Search of Monkeys

Our visit to St. Kitts & Nevis was brief yet longer than it should have been. A couple days in to our arrival we were still floundering around unsure of what to see and do. We made a couple hops around St. Kitts in search of monkeys and kitesurfing spots and then moved on to Nevis. At some point we perused our guidebook again trying to figure out what to do. A visit to one of the plantations on Nevis would have been really nice but at that point we had already wasted too much time. We realized that as we continued to island hop on a pretty tight schedule (and, let's face it, at this point in our trip, a very tight budget) we would really have to pick and choose where to spend time and money. Here nothing really felt like a must see experience for any of us. We were definitely a little baffled by our lack of interest in the place. Hmm. Ambivalence was a new one for us. But since this wasn't the usual, we brushed it aside, wrote these islands off as a "miss" and moved on.

The sail from Statia to Basseterre in St. Kitts was, thankfully, barf free. We were in the lee of St. Kitts for half of it so the sea state was comfortable but that also meant we lost our wind so we motorsailed. Andy and Cubby entertained themselves catching air on the bow when we went over waves. 

We haven't done much fishing lately so we had our hopes up for a nice mahi or something. But all we got was this barracuda. It didn't even take out line. I just happened to glance back for a seaweed check and saw it being dragged along. 

Basseterre is a big cruise ship destination. Two to three arrive in the morning and then leave in the evening. Day in and day out. We checked some of the itineraries online and laughed that so many depart from and return to New Jersey. It took us a year and a half to get here from New Jersey! 

I guess we look like typical passengers because we walked right past security and up to the gangways. We enjoyed the rush of freezing cold air pouring out of the doors. The kids loved peeking in to the gleaming, ornate interiors. Especially the brand new Anthem (which is currently recovering from an exciting offshore adventure!)

Basseterre has a Payless shoe store of all things so Cubs got some new kicks. 

We walked around the shops for an afternoon after clearing customs. It was entertaining at first and the leashed monkeys were cute from afar. But after a while and up close it got kind of depressing. Especially this poor thing licking someone's weird mush off the ground and having people toss tomato slices and french fries at him. The cafe ended up having a nasty pile of food on its terrace rather than a well-fed monkey.

We left the kids on the boat for a quick stock up at the fruit and veg stands. The non-refrigerated stuff always stays fresh longer and it's an easy way to shop. The lady in blue scolded me for taking her picture. Oops. 

We hopped down to White House Bay to get out of busy Basseterre and find something to do but it was a bit of a bust. Andy and Drew tried to land the dinghy near a newly developed mega-yacht marina but were shooed away. But nobody puts Andy in a corner so he went over and made pals with the young guy and got some scoop on the marina and the area. 

Drew and Andy went for a walk and saw lots of wild monkeys. Which made Cubby cry because she had opted out of the walk.

Monkey in da woods.

Da monkeys runnin'. One has a baby hanging off his front. 

Another hop brought us to Banana Bay where we were in search of alcoholic monkeys and a kitesurfing beach. Well, we didn't realize the Reggae Beach Bar caters to cruise ship passengers so it was shutting down as we were showing up. So we took a walk to look at a potential kitesurfing beach and it was pretty disappointing. But we did get to see more monkeys! We went back to the boat where I chopped off Cubby's hair (her idea!) and then we all pitched in to give the boat a scrub. After a sleepless night of little waves hitting the hull (which sounded more like someone whacking it at random intervals with a baseball bat) Andy made the call to bail and not bother with kiteboarding. No arguments from me! 

A few miles later we were on a mooring ball in Nevis. We tried our hand at finding some actual groceries. There were some more really good fruit and veg stands in a covered market but the walk to the sad little grocery was pretty chaotic. This picture does not do it justice at all. 

Tangent on a mooring ball. This is probably when we decided to not bother with any major outings or spend any money. Five confusing days were enough. 

We cleared out and got ready to go then snuck in an extra day waiting for better weather and hit the beach. This is one way to get to the beach from your cat!

One good thing we can say about the visit: the sunsets were beautiful!




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