Monday, February 14, 2011

Instead of weighing anchor and motoring to Gustavia I made sure I had my oars, half a tank of gas and a handheld VHF on board the dinghy and set off for town on my trusty Caribe dinghy. Despite hitting some waves quite hard I made it to town dry and cleared in - this time it was fast, as soon as I'd typed in the name of the boat the system filled in all the other details and all I needed to do was type in my previous port and intended next port and then my name and it, again, completed the rest of the details and numbers and I was in and out of the office within 5 minutes despite all 4 terminals being in use; one opened up as I entered and the other 3 were occupied by captains of large vessels with lots of crew data to enter.

I went to the same café where Rob had negotiated a mortgage to pay for the bill and was fortunate that I'd been to a cash machine before my visit and had enough hard currency along without having to leave my boat papers as surety for the 2 coffees and raisin bread (the Wi-Fi was included in the package price). As befitting the price, the quality was excellent and from my seat in the corner I watched the traffic go by - both the vehicles and the pedestrian. St. Barths is the only place in the Caribbean where most of the passers-by were wearing clothing more valuable than all my T-Shirts aboard and where the women really did dress up to walk along the boulevard in the daytime heat.

I did go overboard while shopping, as I went in there hungry and immediately made a beeline for the cheese counter where I did a roundabout sampler of many different cheeses and a large baguette; then I got some Carib beer and other necessary groceries and was glad that the credit line on my credit card was sufficiently deep; I'll have to pay that grocery trip off in small flex-pay instalments.

Back on the boat I got a visit from a British couple who are looking for a boat to purchase and were interested in looking at Zanshin I. Fortunately I'd done a bit of cleaning and the boat was presentable. I'm not sure if they remain interested, but we'll go on a sail tomorrow - with my luck all sorts of bits and bobs will fall off, fail to function, or break during this demonstration ride.

St. Barths cafe This cafe next to the port Capitanerie served excellent croissants and coffee, but the prices certainly reflected their prime location.

[17°53'51.3"N 62°50'58.15"W (facing SW)]
St. Barths cafe
Remora-like fish underneath This upside-down fish and a couple like her stayed underneath the hull of Zanshin I while I was anchored in Colombier in St. Barths.
Remora-like fish underneath
Odd fish These upside-down fish stayed underneath the hull of Zanshin I while I was anchored in Colombier in St. Barths.

[17°55'28.25"N 62°52'12.86"W ]
Odd fish
Colombier sunset Colombier sunset

[17°55'28.18"N 62°52'11.08"W (facing W)]
Colombier sunset

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