After cruising the Caribbean for five years, I would say that there are two kinds of cruisers; the ones who love to sail and can’t stay in one place for too long and then the ones who spend weeks or even months on the same island and really get to know the people and the community. My husband and I are without a doubt lingers.
Once we get to a harbor that is welcoming and safe we stay, we’re in no rush to go anywhere else, and have no agenda that can’t be changed unless we are expecting guests to arrive on some other paradise. For those of us who linger, we find it increasingly harder to drop our mooring line or raise the anchor to go.
This year we waited for the Christmas winds to calm, for our friends, who we love to see, to come and go, and finally we cut the roots that held our hull to the St. Martin mud and headed for St. Barth and The Bucket.
We circled in the lagoon with other boats waiting for the bridge to open and then we escaped the grip the conveniences and safety St. Martin has. Traveling along the coast the excitement of seeing new places took hold. The forecasted light wind and smooth sea usually disappoint this prone to seasickness sailor with anything but. Not this time around. My stomach didn’t lunge once the whole trip.
Saba, a towering island twenty-six mile to the west, glistened as it reached for the clouds. Small islands and rocks south of St. Martin melded into the background of the higher and greener St. Barth. We crossed the channel and the smooth water turned to one foot chop as the Atlantic pushed through to the Caribbean. None of our island to island passages have ever been gentler, and they can tend to be quiet harrowing. Hopefully, a good sign for the regatta that we have come to watch.
We anchored in Anse de Colombier, (Pigeon house bay) a quiet harbor in the north and a change from our norm. We have always watched The Bucket from the main harbor of Gustavia where we can watch the one-hundred-fifty foot plus racing yachts prepare for the competition and then return to their berths after their spirited campaign around the island. They are beautiful to see up close and fit right in with the St. Barth experience.
This year we decided to witness the action from Colombier where we will be able to see the contenders fight for position transitioning from the windward to the leeward side of the island. This exhilarating convergence, from top speed to possibly dead calm, will be a heartbreaker for some, a thrill for others and one we want to see.