(click to see our passages and islands in this area)
Nevis got its name from Christopher Columbus when upon seeing the volcano constantly enshrouded by clouds he thought it looked like snow - so he called it "Nuestra Senora del las Nieves" (Our Lady of the Snows) after one of his favorite churches.
As we arrived we were amazed at the beauty on this side of the island after the stark location of White House Bay in St. Kitts. There are geogeous sand beaches all along the western shore of Nevis which are lined with beautiful palm trees. There were over a dozen cruising sailboats anchored off the beach, and we now understood why we saw so few sailboats in St. Kitts - they were going to Nevis instead. We wished we had only spent two days in St. Kitts so we would have a week in Nevis. Oh well.
We went in together to the main dock at Charlestown, and were immediately picked up by Curtley the taxi driver. Curtley showed us to a trash can (to dump our trash :-) and then to the well-hidden customs office located in an otherwise abandoned warehouse. We then walked about town a bit to get our bearings. We asked Curtley to give us a tour on our way to Golden Rock Estates. A plantation estate converted to a hotel located high up on the SE side of the island. We had read in our cruising guide that it was a good place to have lunch and hang out.
Curtley was a good tour guide and told us lots of cool things about the area. One thing was that there weren't as many goats as we thought. Apparently they have a breed of sheep who grow no wool. You can tell them from the goats because their tails point down.
Curtley took us to the Golden Rock Estates where we read they were friendly to cruisers. Once there, we took the Monkey Nature Trail while waiting for the restaurant to open at 12:00. We saw one Green Monkey walking down a dirt road. The rain forest section of the trail was wonderful, and they had information on the various trees for us to look for along the way. Our favorite tree was the Banyan.
Here's some pictures from the nature trail:
We went back and had a leisurely lunch (mostly because they only had one waiter who was also the bar tender). But, it gave us time to discover the book collection and Frank found a Robert Ludlum he hadn't read. Here's a shot of the restaurant setting:
The Golden Rock also had a pool, and they said we could swim there. Frank read the book and Karen relaxed as well while the girls swam awhile. The girls also played with a couple of young dogs that were playing around the estate.
We then called Curtley back and had him take us back into town. We went to the ice cream store and I gladly paid the $US1 per scoop for ice cream. Stopped at the Internet cafe and found out they have DSL, but don't do laptops.
We spent the next morning doing home schooling. Hotel California arrived and the women and girls all went ashore and caught a taxi to the Botanical Gardens. Frank ran some errands and checked the Internet. Frank found out by E-mail that his mother had broken her arm when she tripped while dancing during the previous weekend. So, he went back to the boat and called her on the Iridium phone. She was fine, but will need surgery to replace some fragments and put in a plate to hold the fragments in place.
Here are some pictures from the Botanical Gardens at Nevis:
On Wednesday, January 22, we did some provisioning and refueled the dinghy and also cleared out of customs in the morning. In the afternoon we went to a beach with part of Hotel California's crew and had a nice afternoon. The kids buried themselves in the sand and made sharks and mermaids out of themselves.
In the evening we went over and visited with Hotel California as PatiCat was leaving for Montserrat the next day. Hotel California planned to stay in Nevis a few days, but some approaching bad seas changed their plans after we left.
The next morning we left as planned for Montserrat.