July 9, 2016
Today, we awoke to heavy down-pours here in Basseterre on St Kitts. The rain teemed, forcing us to close hatches and swelter in humidity and heat for 30 minutes, before the cloud broke through.
Last night we found out an exciting surprise… Mike Lease, director/founder of sail caribbean was coming for a visit! While we waited for his arrival, crew got ready for a day off the boats exploring. By 9 a.m., Mike and our local contact Percy had arrived with two minivan taxis. We loaded up and headed out.
St Kitts (formerly St Christopher) is an amazing country, with a long and varied history. British Sir Thomas Warner landed with 15 men in January 1623, and settled in ‘Old Road town’. This was the very first British town in the entire Caribbean. Sir Thomas and Samuel Jefferson, a grandfather of the American statesman, and one of the first property owners, are buried in the same graveyard just out of Basseterre.
Our day was filled with rainforest hiking (including some practice on Tarzan moves swinging on vines…), sugar plantations, exploring Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, (a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the first cannons were installed in 1690) picnic lunching under a giant Flamboyant tree (the countries national flower), before heading to Shipwrecks beach…where we swam, rested in hammocks, drank sodas and… were entertained by VERVET MONKEYS!! The first of these apparently escaped from French settlers, and quickly populated the county. These days you can find them all over the island. We had hours of entertainment photographing monkeys climbing trees, monkeys eating sugar cane, monkeys fighting, monkeys with babies, monkeys crossing the road, monkeys making funny faces… you get the idea.
In the evening, we headed back to the boats for a quick pesto pasta dinner followed by another surprise….movie night take TWO! This time, we headed back out in the taxi and to the local cinema to see the recently released ‘Finding Dory’.
We wrapped up the day with a lot of tired, but happily tired campers.
P.S. Stay tuned for the addition of amazing photos to accompany this post tomorrow!