Originally named by Columbus after his personal saint St Christopher, it was shortened to St Kitts by the Brits but officially the island goes by both. In the 1600’s both French and British settlers arrived, and for what was possibly the only time in history, they got together to kill all 2000 Caribs who were on the island. Naturally this state of cooperation did not last long and they were back to fighting over it for the next 150 years until Britain got it under the Treaty of Versailles in 1783. Today it and Nevis, a small island to the south are jointly independent - although every now and then Nevis mutters about secession.
We caught up with Nigel and Karen from Persephone in the 3 beers for $5 bar – it did not end well…..after a nice Indian dinner and a few wines Pete dropped the keys in the water at the dinghy dock! Luckily we had a spare dinghy key hidden on the dinghy and a spare for the big boat hidden on the big boat – actually planned for a sober accidental dropping of keys but hey – they were there.
The next few days we bay hopped down to White House Bay where Nigel and Karen were. We then came back up to Basseterre (where we were boarded by Customs and Immigration for a papers and illegals check) for an island tour. It was supposed to be on and old cane train but that was cancelled so we did it by island taxi. Another fort (of course), lots of little villages and an old estate converted to a batik fabric making place. The volcano here last blew up 400 years ago. The flat land that used to be sugar cane is reverting to bush and real estate developments. If you buy or build a house here you get citizenship. A few strange things: there is a Brazilian embassy here and a large Taiwanese Experimental Farm. The island is 68 square miles in size and there is a church of every single offshoot or interpretation of Christianity ever invented! The cruise terminal port was reclaimed for the purpose of attracting cruise ships and tourism is now a big part of the economy as it is in all of these islands.
We have just anchored off the Carombola Restaurant again to use their wifi - our booster picks up many of the shore wifi spots which is great, saves a lot of messing around but can get worrying if you have to go ashore for drinks to get the password.....