|s/y Nine of Cups
The Leeward Islands - St. Kitts & Nevis
|St. Christopher (Kitts) & Nevis
|St. Kitts Facts:
Area: 68 square miles
Currency: EC$ ( Eastern Caribbean $)
Highest point: Mt. Misery at 3,792’, a volcano.
Major sports here: Cricket and soccer
Inhabitants are called Kittians
St. Christopher and Nevis together are an
independent federation and part of the Eastern
|St. Kitts was yet another 20 mile motor sail
from Statia. We anchored in Basseterre at the
Deep Water Port which was very, very rolly.
A stern anchor kept us into the waves and
made the anchorage much more tolerable.
It was Saturday and we worried about clearing
Customs, but no problem: $14US. We found
a taxi driver willing to give us an island tour on
a Sunday and scheduled it for the next day
then decided to dinghy over to the main town
at Basseterre. The shops are only open till
Noon on Saturday and not at all on Sunday,
so we didn’t shop much (David planned this, I
|Downtown Basseterre is fashioned after
Picadilly Circus in London and boasts
this huge town clock in the center of the
|St. Kitts was originally inhabited by the
Caribs (hence the name Caribbean), a fierce,
warrior people. The English arrived in 1624
and the French arrived in 1625. In 1626, they
banded together (a very rare occurrence
indeed), and massacred ~2,000 Caribs at
Bloody Point totally annihilating the
population. History reports that the river
flowed red with blood for days. Note that
this was all happening about the same time the
Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock!
|The “Sugarcane Train” is a narrow gauge railroad
with about 36 miles of track around the island.
There’s about 12,000 acres of sugar cane still
under cultivation in St. Kitts. The cane juice is
primarily used in the production of local rum.
|Pictured above, a view of Brimstone Hill.
|The sugar cane plant is native to Asia and
was brought to the Americas by
Columbus in 1493. The Dutch traders
introduced cane to the islands which
became the major commerce by the mid-
1600’s. Africans were imported as slave
labor to work the plantations. In 1665, the
white population of St. Kitts was about
7,000 with about 3,000 blacks. By 1775,
there were 1900 whites and 23,000
blacks. In 1834, slavery was
abolished…the beginning of the end for
the sugar cane business.
|The highlight of the tour was visiting Fort George fortress ."A World Heritage site, the Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, is an
exceptional and well-preserved example of 17th and 18th century military architecture in a Caribbean context. Designed by the British and
built by African slave labour, it is a testimony to European colonial expansion, the Atlantic slave trade and the emergence of new societies in
the Caribbean.” …from a Ft. George Museum sign
|Bell tower at Wingfield Plantation, an old
sugar cane plantation built in 1680 and since
been converted into a Botanical Garden.
Area: 35 square miles
Only town: Charlestown
Currency: EC$ (Caribbean dollars)
Highest point: Nevis Peak (3232’)
Inhabitants are called: Nevisians
|While visiting the fort in St. Kitts and having a quick burger and a beer, we met a Swiss couple (Gabrielle &
Emil Schauer) and began chatting with them. After about an hour, they invited us to spend a couple of days
with them at their plantation home in Nevis. In addition to their fine company, they also offered us our own
guest quarters with hot showers and access to their laundry facilities. How could we say “No”? We couldn’t
…so off we sailed the 9 miles to Nevis. We checked into Customs in Charlestown and wandered around a
bit, then moved the boat to Oualie Beach, Emil’s recommendation for a place to leave the boat.
What famous American statesman was born in
Alexander Hamilton. Note that several of
Thomas Jefferson’s relatives were Nevisians,too.
|Charlestown waterfront and dinghy dock
with Nevis Peak in the distance.
|The lovely plantation house we stayed at. We
had our own bungalow in the back where we
could hear monkeys chattering in the mornings.
|Our most hospitable hosts, Emil & Gabrielle
(Gabbie), became good "old" friends in no
time at all.
|The view of the Narrows, the strait between
Nevis and St. Kitts, was spectacular as
viewed from the front verandah of Emil &
|he second day we were with Gabrielle &
Emil, we took an island tour in their
“Sidekick”. We visited some sugar cane
plantation ruins along the Atlantic coast. The
area is desert-like along the shore as
evidenced by the cactus plants which
happened to be in bloom.
|We also visited the Nevis racetrack which
happened to have donkeys and goats grazing
on it at the time. Evidently, about 10
Sundays a year, there is thoroughbred horse
racing here. Sometimes, there are only 2
horses competing in a race, but it’s a major
social outing on Nevis and everyone who’s
|After 2 days and nights with the Schauer’s,
it was time to head out. As we left the
anchorage and sailed by their house, they
waved a large white sheet from the
verandah so we would see them and we
did. What a lovely way to say goodbye.
We sailed on to Montserrat, about 40
miles away, and arrived around 5pm into
Carr’s Bay and anchored. Since we didn’t
plan to go ashore, we just flew our “Q”
flag for the night.
|Not much to say about Montserrat. We
anchored for the night and never went ashore.
We took our leave for Guadeloupe the next
morning. As we passed, we could still see the
recently erupted volcano smoking in the
|Between Montserrat and Guadeloupe lies the
Kingdom of Redonda. I know it looks like a big
rock (1 mile long, ~1000” high), and though it is
now claimed by Antigua, an Irishman from
Montserrat claimed it first as a kingdom for his
son in 1865 and crowned his son, King Filipe I.
The “crown” has been passed down to friends
and relatives along the way and the current
monarch is King Robert (Bob the Bald) who
resides in Antiqua.