Sea|Mester Part 4: St. Barthélemy
The fourth stop we made on our voyage was the French island of St. Barthélemy, or St. Barth’s. The island is an “overseas collectivity,” making it basically a part of France. As such it really felt like a little piece of Europe in the middle of the Carribean. It was easily the most expensive island we visited, due in part to a not-so-favorable dollar-euro exchange rate, but it was well worth it, as we all had a great time feasting on crêpes, going to bars, trying to speak french to drunk locals, surfing, and shopping for souvenirs.
The passage to St. Barth from Antigua was relatively smooth, and as a result I was actually able to take some pictures. Here you can see the roof of the charthouse (what I’m sitting on), both masts and a lot of the rigging of Ocean Star, as well as our dinghies: Exie on the left, and Irving on the right.
Chris/Champ/Sweet-Cheeks at the helm. Everyone kept water bottles hooked to that thing in front of the compass.
We had some good wind so we put up the fisherman’s sail (the little one all the way up at the top of the foremast in the above left photo). At right: (Captain) Eric sheeting in the foresail while David takes up slack.
David, Chris, Chase, and Matt folding the “fish” up as we near our destination.
The port of Gustavia, St. Barthélemy
Ocean Star docked stern-to in Gustavia. Scooters were the main mode of transport there, and there were certainly no SUVs anywhere to be seen.
We had some free shore time so we took a walk and I took lots of pictures.
This is the main street just off the port. Near here was a store that sold us “International phone cards” for 3 euro… I advise you not to put too much trust in these if you go.
A view of the port from Fort Karl, a now ruined fort on the south side of town, near Shell Beach. You can see Ocean Star on the far shore, toward the left.
Looking down from Ft. Karl; Left: the stairs leading to the fort; Right: The Ocean
° French advertisements…
That night the whole crew trucked over to Le Select, a bar / restaurant (the cheapest food in town, though still pretty expensive) for a night out.
° For my first experience at a real “french restaurant,” it wasn’t very french at all. They served burgers, fries, and beer, and everyone understood English.
° I got a “fish burger,” which ended up being 3 fish sticks on a bun with lettuce, tomato and a lime wedge.
Madd Dog enjoying a Carib and a Cuban
° Le Select was a cool bar with a great vibe. There were a lot of locals there as well as travelers from various corners of the world.
° Needless to say, everyone had a great time.
° Diving instructor Casey and myself with one of the more interesting characters we met: a drunken French sailor who advised me always to “go with the wind.”
° Zane and Madd Dog with somebody’s dog
° The crew: Kevin, Eric, and Julie
° Watch Team One: Laura, Champ, Julie, Chase, Gretchen, Eric, and Me
° Dave, Chase, Hannah and Me with a mad cool local Rasta.
(Photos marked with ° were taken by other crew members)