January 17, 2009
Oranjestad, St. Eustatius
We arrived in Statia at 11:00 am on Saturday morning after a 5 hour sail from St. Kitts. The winds were very light so we motored the whole way. When we arrived, we were happy to see that they had mooring balls for us to pick up. There are only a handful of other boats here, so it is nice and quiet. The Anchorage is beautiful, but a continuous swell makes it very rolly and uncomfortable for monohulls. We have seen several pull up and drop anchor only to leave after a short time. Our Catamaran handles these waves beautifully though, only producing gentle rocking that actually helps lull us to sleep.
After clearing in with customs, we hiked to the main town which was a strenuous 20 minute walk uphill. The views were breathtaking. This is the ultimate of sleepy towns! There was no one on the roads, except for a cow or two and some chickens. The town here is immaculately kept and so well preserved, with colorful clapboard homes, manicured gardens, cobblestone streets and lots of historical sites. We explored an old fort and cemetery that provided a great bird’s eye view of our boat at anchorage.
Statia’s main industry is its big oil refinery. There are always large tankers and tugs coming and going from the island. For visitors, Statia is known for its diving and its national parks and hiking. On Sunday, we hiked to the top of the Quill- a dormant volcano with a rainforest growing in its crater. We began at 7:30 a.m. and made it to the base of the Quill by 8:30 (all uphill). We then started the mountain trail and made it to the top at 9:30. The views were fabulous at the summit. Along the trail we encountered hundreds of mountain crabs and also a few snakes and goats. By the time we made it back down to town we were exhausted. We cooled off at the Golden Rock Hotel enjoying some daiquiris and Caribs and a dip in their inviting pool. Joyanne took great care of us and made us a great meal for lunch. After all of our drinks and lunch, the bill was only $30—you can’t beat that! We will probably be back here on Monday to relax poolside
We can’t say enough great things about Statia. This is one of those out of the way places that not many people ever get to visit; however, it is well worth the extra effort to get here. It is a tiny island (population of under 2000) that invites one to explore all of its nooks and crannies. Tomorrow we have an appointment with the lobster man- his traps are near our boat- we will be grilling some and toasting to a great stay in Statia.