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Published: April 29th 2013
After sad goodbyes to Sally and Richard we set sail to the wonderfully chi-chi St Barts. OMG it’s like London, Paris and New York but under the sun!
We arrive in Gustavia (the capital) and wander ashore to shop until we drop (I wish) and do the normal check-in procedure. To my big disappointment it was Sunday and as in France everything was closed, so with a smile on Gill’s face, having narrowly escaped massive indebtedness we have a scout-about and I dream of tmw! That evening we go to a nearby beach, called Shell Beach and have sundowners in Go Brazil, an uber-trendy bar with beautiful people hanging out and the boys (Gill and Tim – not Cameron and Samuel, before you think they have grown up quickly) enjoy the silicone scenery! Just to be friendly I help Fred drink two bottles of rosé and we enjoy some delicious nibbles (while the boys enjoy the nipples!). Unfortunately though we spent the night rolling around like a pig so we decided to pop into town do some provisioning and head around the corner to the nearby anchorage of Colombier. By complete coincidence, whilst in the super-smart supermarket (which ended up
being all front and no knickers as everything fresh we bought went off very quickly) we bumped into some lovely Americans from the boat Cameron visited in Antigua, called Orion. After a little persuasion they decided to alter their plans and come and join us for a few days in Colombier.
Orion’s story is one of the most terrible accident and the most amazing determination. Nancy and her husband planned to escape for ten years on a boat around the Caribbean. Months before they were to leave Nancy’s husband was killed in a crash on his way to work. Despite the obvious devastation Nancy gathered support from her sister, Auntie Anita, and off they went to do what her husband would have loved to have done with them. The boys Jacob and Kyle have to follow a very strict educational programme (for US athletes unable to attend regular school hours). This involves being online for up to 6 hours per day. We struggle to get wifi to check emails every couple of days. Savannah and Shaun do not need to follow the same regime but they put us all to shame as the rigidly adhere to their schedule while
they have driven in an RV across the States and sailed from Grenada to St Maarten, en route to the BVIs, for the past 8 months. All aboard are conscious that they must do this trip and get the most from it. We are all massively humbled by their amazing spirit.
The boys were delighted to meet up with them again so we headed off and spent a lovely few days having drinks, playing on the beach and chilling in this peaceful and calm anchorage. After a great few days, Orion left for St Maarten but Mad Fish and Open Blue arrived along with the largest super-yachts and 5 of the most stunning J-Class boats that I have ever seen. This major event in the St Bart’s calendar is the Bucket Regatta. The J-Class yachts (for those, like me, who didn’t know before) are these beautiful classic 1920/1930 racing yachts (a number of which have been built of period plans which never made it beyond the drawing board) which knock the polish off the even the biggest sailing yachts I have ever seen. The bucket is an invitational event, where yachts also need to 100ft+ long and of course
host a crew of many and sport a bank balance to match. Unfortunately we don’t meet all the criteria(!) so we were left with only option and that was to follow and watch these beautiful boats doing what they do best. It was truly magnificent (can’t believe I’m actually saying that) to see these boats can do.
Next day we decided to venture back into Gustavia to check-out and just smear up the windows whilst I pine for a bank balance to buy the purple Louis Vitton handbag that says “BUY ME”. So after a frustrating shopping experience we head (with no Pretty Woman bags) back to Fabiola to head to St Maarten.
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