Thursday, February 13, 2014

Kitts

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We anchored in Ballast Bay near the south end of St. Kitts for a few days after clearing into the capital Basseterre. Kitts is a little more tourist than Nevis as they get a pretty continuous stream of massive cruise ships. Ballast Bay is the future home of Christophe Harbour. With the emphasis on future. The important thing about this harbour development is that they put in the most cherished feature first – a strong WiFi tower.  Chris was setup to do some pre-trip work and planning for a work trip to Tanzania. After about 4 days of work with the Washington, DC office, the job got postponed till ‘later’. But the WiFi was really good during our stay.

We took a taxi ride around the island with the main plan to visit the Brimstone Hill Fort. This is a UNESCO World Heritage site that was called the ‘Gibraltar of the Caribbean’' when the British and French were jockeying for position in the West Indies. The view in the pic above is from the fort with the island country of St. Eustatius in the background (aka Statia).

kittsIMG_4246The main fort drains through the red grate in the center of the picture into a hundreds of thousands of gallon cistern. Something helpful if you are in a fort with the main attack scheme against it being a siege. The French and the English worked together on the island over the years to jointly defend it against the Spanish, Dutch, and Caribs. If they weren’t feeling an eminent outside threat, then the English and French fought each other.

Tim and Patty of s/vTevai preparing to load the cannons.

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Brimstone Hill fort from seaward

kittsIMG_4258 Adolphus was our Kitts taxi driver, historian and story teller.

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Another highlight of Kitts is the Bottle Tree.

 

kittsIMG_4227 A Kittian lady near the Bottle Tree

 

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A stop at the Kitts’ Batik factory was colorful. We all got a good whiff of the Batik wax.

IMG_kitts4236 Batik drying in the wind

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Before the Brits and the French took the island it was populated by Caribs from South America and probably, before that, the Arawaks. The stone carved glyph above is a fertility symbol. Looks like they had some really long lasting white paint back then.

 

kittsIMG_4263 This is the skinny end of the island  in the south with the Atlantic side on the left and the Caribbean on the right. We are anchored in the upper right of the pic, on the Caribbean side.

kittsIMG_4265 The other work being done on the new Christophe Harbour is the dredging of the old Salt Pond in which the marina will be built.

IkittsMG_4266 The team dragging their way back to the dinghy after a hard day being a tourist.

Leaving St Kitts

We’ve made our way back up to St Martin. Got a few boat projects to get done before we head south to go permanently ‘down island’.

Paul

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