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Sunday, June 9th, 2002
Paradise Found. Pinney Beach, Nevis

Curt and I were reluctant to leave lovely and peaceful little Ballast Bay. It seems that so far, the anchorages aren't necessarily what we had in mind when we set out cruising, and so we find ourselves longing to linger in those we enjoy as we're not sure when we'll find another. However, with Hurricane Season baring down on us we also know we need to move south to get out of the hurricane belt and we don't have much time to dawdle, so we set off for the next island of Nevis, just a short jaunt down the way.

We were both giddy to find this lovely little stretch of beach! This looked much more like what we had thought we'd find in the Caribbean. Palm trees lined the white sand as far as the eye could see and a volcano sat watch over the island from behind them. Colorful fishing boats lay beached on shore and brightly painted little buildings poked out from the brush here and there. A radio somewhere in the distance was playing reggae, and the water was as clear as a swimming pool. We anchored in 8.5 feet of water just north of the Four Seasons resort where little Hoby Cats and sea kayaks were drifting by.

The rest of the day we did nothing but snorkel and dive for sandollars that lined the ocean floor below us. Late in the afternoon Curt was motivated enough to play his guitar in the cockpit while I sat on the bow, drawing for the first time since I left San Diego four years ago. It was a perfectly decadent day. To properly top it off, we had planned to have a shower and dinghy in for a nice meal. At 8pm we decided it's really too late to go anywhere, so we imbibed in good ol' macaroni and cheese and the bottle of champagne that Amie had brought us. It seemed like just the sort of day we should celebrate our adventure. For desert, we lay in the cockpit and watched the sky fill with stars.

Monday June 10, 2002
Exploring Smiling Nevis

We woke up late and listened to weather forecaster, Perfect Paul over breakfast and coffee. After straightening up, we head to Nevis' main port of Charlestown to clear-in and see the town. About half way there in the dinghy, it positively dumped rain. It felt like someone had turned a hose on us. I tried to keep our boat papers and passports dry with only mild success. After some searching, we found customs in an unmarked old warehouse in the middle of town. A smiling man sitting behind a caged window, wearing his official customs attire laughed at us as we stood there still dripping from the rain. He wasn't being mean, but rather helping us laugh at a silly situation, so we all had a good chuckle together.

Without much of a plan other than to poke around, we wandered the streets of Charlestown. It felt very British: narrow winding streets, buildings squished together, and lots of cobblestone everywhere. The people were the friendliest we've encountered yet… everyone was smiling and helpful. We bought some produce from a vendor on the side of the street before heading back to Force Five.

That evening we allowed plenty of time for the dinner out we had forfeited the night before and set- off for Sunshine's… a beach bar down the way. It was late afternoon as we beached the dinghy on the sand in front of the restaurant, and two guys were setting up a volleyball net. We found a seat at one of the little funky painted picnic tables and ordered the infamous, "Killer Bee" rum drink. It was mighty good, but also packed a mighty punch. We watched a local reggae man carving walking sticks and totem poles while smoking an enormous joint. It was interesting to watch the rotating traffic of both locals in their reggae attire of dreads and crocheted beanies, as well as sunburned tourists from the Four Seasons in crisp new sarongs. Everyone was smiling, everyone seemed happy. We wrapped our evening up early as we had an eight hour sail to Montserrat on the agenda for tomorrow, but I hope we can come back and spend much more time in Nevis on our way back north.

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