"December 18, 2006 - Arriving in Basseterre" Top 5 Page for this destination Saint Kitts and Nevis Travelogue by grandmaR
Saint Kitts and Nevis Travel Guide: 296 reviews and 988 photos
We came from Barbados up the chain of islands, so we could see that we were passing Nevis on the way to St. Kitts while we ate breakfast.
After breakfast, I went out on the bow. I could see the airport up on the slope behind town, with the planes landing. The frigate birds were gliding on the wind.
There was a vicious crosswind, and the ship approached the pier at an angle. I thought the captain was going to come in on the upwind side and let the wind blow him down onto the pier like we would have in our boat. But as we approached closer to the dock, I could see that the captain was coming in on the lee side of the pier which was certainly a lot more sensible for a ship of that size with two screws and bow thrusters.
There were three official looking people (white shirts and dark pants or Bermuda shorts) with bicycles on the end of the pier along with some folks in blue shirts (some of them lying down on the dock). I looked down along the side of the bow of the ship, and there was a ship's officer with a red hard-hat standing on a platform that was stuck out from the side of the ship.
Then there was a significant amount of yelling and jumping up and down, running around and gesticulating on the part of the blue shirts. The Officer fired a monkey fist (from a kind of sling shot) over to the pier from the forward position, and the blue shirted people caught it and pulled the line in and put the loop over a yellow bollard with a Maasdam sign next to it. The officer fired two more lines to be taken farther forward and to the other side of the dock. I looked back along the ship, and I could see a similar action being taken from the stern. The tug was standing by, but wasn't being used. We were all secured by about 09:30, and I went below.
We had signed up for a ship tour but it wasn't until afternoon, so about 11, we walked out into the main town of Basseterre. There was a lot of construction going on along the waterfront, and there were some stores, where we window shopped.
We walked past the market area and past the old Treasury Building from 1894, which now houses a museum. The museum entrance was $2, but we didn't go in. Perhaps I should have.
On the other side of the museum was "The Circus" which is a roundabout with an ornate Victorian clock in the middle of it. The Circus was ostensibly modeled after Piccadilly Circus in London, but without the statue of the cherub in it. The only real similarity was the traffic - they drive on the left There were a lot of restaurants around the Circus.
We walked along to Independence Square (which in 1834 was known as Pall Mall Square described as a Marketplace of Negroes aka a slave market). It was renamed Independence Square in 1983. There were trees and benches, and dry fountains. On one side of the square was the Immaculate Conception Cathedral (Catholic dating from 1927 - I had seen the tops of the two towers from the ship), and some interesting 18th century homes.
It was hot, so we walked back to the ship. I notice that the license plates were somewhat rudimentary but were different colors - red, blue, black and green. Later I asked - P or PA black plates were private cars. Other colors are for rental cars (red IIRC), buses and taxis.
On the way back to the ship for lunch, Bob walked over to the marina which was near the cruise ship dock, and saw a CSY 37 with a green stripe and canvas. He took some photos and I was able to make out the word "Cape Town" on the stern, but couldn't quite make out the name above it. It might be the former Anteres, which was sold sometime in 1999 in this area.
Next - The St. Kitts narrow gauge scenic train trip
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