Sunday 27 January, St. Barth day 7: Left Gustavia Harbour and anchored in Colombier Bay.
We slept better last night, despite the rolling and the lapping on the stern. And after breakfast we head ashore for check-out formalities as we are planning to leave St. Barth tomorrow morning. The procedure is quick and efficient, few clicks on the computer and a signature. Again, they didn’t even check our passports. What they did was charge us a daily anchoring fee, which we were not aware of. Not much money, but our first time to be charged for anchoring. And it’s nothing compared to the rip off we’ll be subject to in Anguilla!
Back onboard we are soon lifting the anchor and waving goodbye to Gustavia Harbour and all the neighboring jalopies. We then motor 3nm north to the next bay, Colombier, which can only be reached by boat or hiking.
There are quite a few boats here too, but far from overcrowded. The mooring buoys are only rated to 25tons, so we have to anchor, which suits us just fine. Always easiest to anchor.
As for the beach itself, it is advertised as one of the best beaches in the world. By what criteria, I don’t know. If you ask me, it’s just a golden sand beach with a rocky hill in the background and scarce dry vegetation. No palm trees, no white powder sand.
And on top of the hill there is an abandoned house with an interesting design. We read somewhere that it belonged to the Rothschild family. Not sure how true the information is though.
A few groups of people are having a good time. One catamaran has 6-7 dinghies tied to its stern, hosting a little gathering onboard. And on the beach there is another large group singing and dancing. But otherwise the beach is not busy at all. Surprising, on a Sunday. We thought it will be mobbed. I guess hiking to the beach is not everyone’s idea of fun.
Same as in Gustavia harbour, here we also see quite a few sea turtles at the water surface as they come out to breath. What do they feed themselves on in these bays, I don’t know, as the bottom is mostly sandy.
We keep ourselves happily entertained onboard, sunbathing and swimming off the boat to cool off.
And Glen went into a mission to clean all the black mess we collected on our dinghy and fenders from Gustavia dinghy dock which was very dirty. Most of the black came off, but the fenders remained stained. Hm, we need to search for a product that will clean them.
When the sun got too intense we retire indoors, where a very nice breeze is blowing through the opened hatches. It is really gusty in this bay, so we get plenty of fresh air in.
And Glen resumes troubleshooting on our radio, which stopped working few days ago. After reshuffling all the wires and playing with all the buttons, he concludes “I think the radio is kaput”. Well, we haven’t spent money on Cloudy Bay this month (other than cruising permits), so no surprise something broke and now needs replacing. At least it’s only a simple car radio, so a replacement should not come with the usual “marine” price tag.
As the heat goes out of the sun, we take the dinghy ashore where we walk up and down the beach. Most people have left already – probably only 10 or so people left. We remark that this bay feels more like a Mediterranean bay than one in the Caribbean. A mixture of large rocks and sand plus very dry hills behind. We could be on the Costa Brava.
When we get back to Cloudy Bay an Australian captain, of the rather fancy catamaran anchored next to us, comes over in his dinghy. He says that in the night the yachts swing all over the place in this bay and we may be a bit too close to him. Glen thinks we are anchored just fine, but then the guy mentions he has 50m of chain out! A little excessive in only 7m of water, and we tell him so. He goes back to his cat but shows no sign of pulling any chain in. So for our own safety we up anchor and move 20m further away from him just before it gets too dark.
During the evening I get back to video editing. I’ve had a break for a couple of days which has been very pleasant. It’s not a job I really enjoy anymore due to some of the insulting comments we get on YouTube, which have taken all the pleasure out of sharing our adventure.
Tomorrow we head for St. Maarten where we should get, for a change, a peaceful anchorage in the enclosure of Simpson’s Bay.