Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Christophe Harbor

Yesterday, I wrote in detail about a particular day when cruising sucked, so today I'd like to post the "yin" to that "yang".

Enter: Christophe Harbor, aka "Heaven on Earth".

Nothing makes a blogging cruiser happier than free, fast wifi, and so when we dropped the hook in Whitehouse Bay, St. Kitts and found the "Christophe Harbor" hotspot, I was a happy girl.  Before they let you surf for free, however, they make you sign a virtual "guest book" where you fill in details about you and your boat.  Call it "market research"...

Anyway, soon after signing in I was treated with a personal message from Aeneas - the marina manager and consummate gentleman - asking us if there was anything he could do to make our visit more pleasant and an invitiation to "stop by".  Having not seen the marina but knowing it was just around the corner from where we were, I wrongly assumed that he was there - and the facilities that I had seen so much about on the website were there as well.  After spending a day at Frigate Beach with our friends on s/v Yolo, we took our dinghies around the corner to the marina to have a drink and a dip in the pool.

When we rounded the corner we were greeted by a meager "marina" with zero facilities.   The only sign of life as far as our eyes could see were a couple of chain-smoking Frenchmen on a dredging boat.  "Uh...so, what are we supposed to be doing here?" Scott asked with accusing skepticism.

"I thought there was a bar and pool here" I trailed off, desperately scanning the shore for a sign of anything that resembled...well, anything.  It was looking like our afternoon plans were going to be a bust.

Just as we were about to turn around and abort our mission, a man stepped out of a truck by the docks and waved his arms at us.  I recognized him immediately as Aeneas.  "That's him!" I said excitedly, "That's the marina manager!" All was not lost!  We dinghied over and tied up.

He walked over to us with a smile.  "I was just driving home from work when I saw two dinghies headed this way" he said, "I knew it must be you so I stopped.  Come on, hop in the truck, I'll show you around."  Talk about serendipity.

Aeneas drove us around the premises which at the moment are barren save for a few luxury homes, and painted the vision for us of what was to come. His passion for the development project and his adopted home of St. Kitts is immediately evident.  There are big plans for this part of the island - and the developer is clearly a man of great vision and taste.  The little marina that housed all of four boats will soon be a bustling mega-yacht marina (see the future vision here) and then there's the real estate, the golf course, the hotels and more...  All to be done with exquisite taste, an eye for design and a great effort to blend in with the local environment.

Then, Aeneas dropped us off at the private beach club (aka "Heaven on Earth") where we got a taste of what it must be like to go on vacation if you are Beyonce Knowles or George Clooney.  The word "fabulous" is a gross understatement.  We lounged in the infinity pool, sipped the most delicious rum punches we ever had, and did all of this in total privacy because - aside from the staff - we were the only people there.  "It's times like these I wish I was a millionaire" Darcy said  dreamily.  And, while I don't usually equate money with happiness, I did have to agree.  Calling a place like this your own was certain to bring up the "happy" factor.

It was a great afternoon, with great friends and one of those days that make you ponder, "I wonder what the land folks are doing today?"


NatGeoWannaBe said...

Yeah - that definitely does not look like it sucked.

btw - we land folks are pretending the lines in our spreadsheet are really waves on the beach and the stapler is really a rum punch. Oh look! A shell (phone)...if you hold it up to your ear you can almost hear the ocean...=)

Michelle said...

Wow so pretty!

La famille Larose said...

You know what? I think that it is because you guys are not millionaires that you actually appreciated the experience. We got to hang around with people who had lots of means and the settings that got us excited obviously didn't trigger much excitation for them. Everything can end up looking ordinary if you don't take the time to really look at what you have and make the conscious effort of actually appreciating it and being thankful for it.

Glad you got to enjoy settings like that as "impostors". It's the best of both worlds IMO :-)

B.J. Porter said...

Aeneas picked us up when we were just out for a stroll walking down the road and invited us back to the club. This was a couple of months ago, and he asked me what he could do to make it more attractive to visiting boats. I told him "Get some free internet, and a way to pitch your services". He told me that was in the works, I guess he made it happen.

Beautiful spot they have there. Hopefully they'll get something at the dock in the harbor soon, I mentioned to Aeneas that a snack shack with drinks and a head would probably go over well there if he could cost justify it.

We could have spent more time in St. Kitts.


Glad you enjoyed your time in beautiful St. Kitts.

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