We were up really early to catch breakfast before our arrival in St. Kitts; but, the morning didn’t go quite as the Captain had planned. Normally, the ship docks at Port Zante in Basseterre; however, two other ships were in port before us and when our Captain attempted to dock at the assigned mooring at the Cargo Pier, the water was too shallow for our ship. Now, you don’t want to get one of these monsters stuck in the mud; so, he had to back up and drop anchor behind the other two ships and then they used the tender boats to get us to shore. Oh well, just added a little extra excitement to our morning.
We had booked a tour on the St. Kitts Scenic Railway. This is a narrow gauge rail originally built in the early 1920’s to deliver sugar cane from the fields to the mills in Basseterre, the island’s capital city. Our bus collected us at the pier to transport us to the rail station. The train route circled the coastline along the Atlantic Ocean which afforded great views of the ocean, cliffs, and the lush vegetation. The train rolled across steel bridges spanning narrow canyons called ‘ghuts’. Goats, sheep and other domestic animals grazed contentedly on the fertile farms. The locals, especially the children, came out to wave enthusiastically as the train rolled through their small villages. The volcanic cone of Mount Liamuiga towers above the dark rainforests and is the highest point, at a little less than 3,800 feet. Old sugar estates and abandoned windmills and chimneys dot the countryside as reminders of the island’s sugar industry of days gone by.
We transferred to bus to complete the circuit on the Caribbean Sea side. Brimstone Hill fortress, also known as the Gibraltar of the West Indies is perched 800 feet above the sea. This massive fortress was built by slaves for defense. We didn’t stop to tour but might do that on a future visit.
St. Kitts is a volcanic island, 5 miles wide and 23 miles long. It is shaped like a cricket bat and is separated from its sister island, Nevis, by a mere 2 miles. Basseterre has a Big Ben-style clock located in the town’s square, known as “The Circus”, modeled after Piccadilly Circus in London. After a little window shopping, there’s not much more to do there so we headed for the tender boat for our ride back to the ship.
We had a leisurely afternoon on board ship and got caught up on editing pictures, etc. We had an excellent dinner and the theme for the evening was Country Western, with a hoe-down after dinner. The main entertainment featured a Comedy and Juggling act with "Howie & Bert". They were quite good; I’m impressed that anyone can juggle razor-sharp knives; let alone do it on a moving ship. Some of the other game shows included Love & Marriage, where the Cruise Director selected married couples and put them through the matrimonial test of time; we stayed for most of that show. The drink of the day was a Tequila Sunrise; finally a drink without rum.
We called it a night and tomorrow we dock in St. John's, Antigua.