|This bird pooped on the decks, window & dingy. He kept aiming.|
Our clearance paperwork had expired in the afternoon and we didn’t want to have to go back to check back INTO the country and then back OUT. Besides that, weather is coming. We certainly don’t want to be stuck in St. Kitts, one of our least favorite places....Shopper’s Mecca and not much else for us..
|Sint Eustatius - 'Statia"|
Arriving in Statia after a few hours of uneventful cruising with domestic debates still raging as to whether to continue on to Saba with an ETA arrival at dusk/dark or drop the hook at Statia, right in front of the Customs & Immigration dock...the only anchorage on the island. We were nervous about staying in Statis as we were not planning to clear Customs/Immigration. I hated to so flagrantly thumb my nose at them - we are so visible. We were not going ashore & would depart at first light for St. Martin, so we hoped technically we would be ‘legal’...but who knows. No one can answer that question for us....clear in to spend the night only, never going ashore???
|Coming into the anchorage - Saba in background|
For you boaters following our blog, the guidebooks show the only safe anchorage at Oranje Baai and then only if settled weather. The books/charts show actual anchoring by the breakwater, with moorings at the more northern end. No - don’t drop the hook at the southern end in spite of what you read. The dockmaster hailed us on the radio, requesting that we move to the northern end of the anchorage, saying we would be safer there. The mooring balls are rated at only 30 tons & are $10 a night, part of the Park ‘fee’ when you check in. We passed on the mooring option as we are 38 tons net weight and also because we didn’t plan to go ashore to pay.
|So many huge tankers & freighters|
Ugh, not a place I’d recommend. This anchorage is rolly - the breakwater isn’t long enough! This island is also a fueling station for freighters and tankers right next to this only anchorage.
|Lights of all the tankers & freighters around us|
The radio continually sprang to life throughout the night long with bored tug boat captains and freighters chatting away. We don't dare turn the VHF off in case there is something we need to know or we need help quickly!
Dropping the hook, we were suddenly hailed by “Hello Big Boat”. We saw nothing til we spotted two young (21ish) girls swimming by our bow. One Canadian and one Brit, these interns at the Statia Natl Park for six months, were most curious about Finally Fun & thrilled to be invited aboard for a cold beer. I laughed when they told us they swam out nearly every day in high hopes of having someone invite them aboard to take a ‘look see’. The gals regaled us with stories of the island, almost making me want to stay to see some of the Park and hike up to the dead volcano for myself. Almost, but not quite!
|Departing Statia at first light- See the volcano at the right side|