S/V Delilah

A Blog to track the wanderings of the S/V Delilah, a 37-foot Tayana sailboat.

Saturday, May 20, 2006


Thursday, May 11, 2006
Gustavia, St. Barthelemy, French Antilles
N 17 degrees 53.95 minutes
W 062 degrees 51.28 minutes

Ten years ago today I took my first ride in a sailboat, Arcadia, Dean's 23-foot Sea Sprit, which he kept at a dock in Charlestown. I liked it.

Five years ago this week (give or take a few days,) I took my first ride on Delilah, attempting to deliver her from Fort Lauderdale to Boston. That second sail didn't go quite so smoothly (literally--I yakked my guts out). Yet here we are, jouncing around outside Gustavia Harbor, in search of the glitterati. I suppose some would argue that it's downright unfashionable to be in St. Barts in May, rather than December or January, but I'm just glad we have a place to anchor just outside the tiny harbor, and for a mere 4 euros a night.

We made the 15-mile trek from Sint Maarten to St. Barts yesterday, taking advantage of the island's lax immigration policies to spend our first night on a free mooring in a small bay on the northeast corner, where there is nothing ashore but a beautiful beach and a steep hillside full of wildflowers and cactuses. Anse de Colombier is part of the Marine Reserve in St. Barts. Boats are encouraged to tie to moorings rather than anchoring, which can destroy coral and seagrass. Dean was more than happy to comply, as it meant he wouldn't have to pull up the anchor this morning.

Anse du Colombia, which is on land once owned by Nelson Rockefeller, is so remote that it can only be accessed by boat or by a narrow footpath that winds around the steep shoreline from the nearest town, one mile away. The views from the trail are beautiful, and the snorkeling in the bay was quite good. There were lots of starfish, and I watched a sea turtle eating the grass beneath our boat. We hadn't been swimming for a whole week, and I snorkeled for so long that I could hardly move last night. I dragged myself to bed at about 8 o'clock.

We got up early the next morning to motor the two miles to Gustavia. The anchorage here is very convenient to town, and we spent the day looking at beautiful clothing we can't afford to buy and reading menues of restaurants at which we can't afford to eat. We also found a small beach near the town to have our picnic lunch. It was quite nice, and loaded with shells, but they were all exactly the same shells, so I only grabbed a few.

We stopped in for a drink at Le Select, in spite of our guidebook's hints that we might see Jimmy Buffet there. Locals claim that he wrote "Cheeseburger in Paradise" while anchored in this harbor. That's all well and good, but I was put off Jimmy Buffet forever by my sixth-grade music teacher, who taught us most of the lyrics to "Margaritaville." Of course he couldn't have sixth graders singing so openly about a drinking binge, so he replaced the word Margaritaville with Snoopyville. As a result, the song made no sense to me, and that bugged me. So did my sixth grade music teacher. Jimmy Buffet never had a chance.


Post a Comment

<< Home