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Get Away to St. Kitts

St. Kitts, according to the Department of Tourism, is 23
miles long and 5 miles across. This lovely, guitar-shaped island boasts miles
of deserted beaches, acres of open land, an impressive fort, a gorgeous rain forest
and very friendly people. But you want to know about the boating, don’t
you?

Good
news! There is boating in St. Kitts. Porte Zante, the island’s only such
facility, is a combination deep water port for cruise ships, ferry terminal,
and marina. The terminal is relatively new, having been rebuilt after being
destroyed by a hurricane in 1999. Porte Zante has slips available for visiting
yachts.

Boat Charters:
There don’t appear to be any bareboat charters available in St. Kitts;
however, The Moorings yacht charter company includes St.
Kitts and Nevis in one of their St.
Martin bareboat itineraries. Cruisers will find beautiful,
secluded anchorages on the southeast side of the island – South
Friar’s Bay and Major’s Bay, to name two – but I have been told
that they can experience a severe groundswell in winter months.

Day Trips: There
are a number of day boats to go out and play on – from large catamarans,
some glass-bottomed, to rented power boats. The resorts have small daysailers
for rent (in season) by the hour, and the usual assortment of kayaks, jet skis
and snorkel gear are available for rental at various beaches around the island.

Diving: Reefs and
wrecks are abundant in 40 to 100 feet of water – Nevis
boasts caves! Arrangements for dive trips can be made at your hotel or you can
contact one of half a dozen dive operators directly. Some dive shops have an
arrangement with taxi drivers, so that your transportation to and from your
hotel is included in the cost of the dive.

Fishing: The
Department of Tourism reports that tuna, wahoo, dorado, kingfish and many other
species of fish can be caught in the waters off St. Kitts. Man-made reefs and
fish aggregating devices (FADS) are being used to attract small fish inshore,
which in turn attract larger bill fish and mahi-mahi. Make arrangements for a
fishing charter through your hotel, or check out the listed websites for their
contact information.

Other Stuff: Even
the most avid boater will want to take at least one day to see some of the
sights on land. Local taxi driver Violet Wigley (869-456-8201 and 869-663-4117)
took us on a fabulous tour of the island. St. Kitts is diverse – part of
the island is low and dry, part of it has a stunningly beautiful rain forest up
in the clouds. We explored a restored fort (Brimstone Hill) that commands a
spectacular view of the coast and countryside, shopped in town, and had a
delicious lunch at Turtle Beach, where we saw monkeys and the giant,
large-tusked pig (who was, fortunately, sleeping soundly). The golfers in our group
enjoyed the 18-hole golf course that is right there at the Marriott Resort.

St. Kitts
seems to have something for everyone – golf, spa treatments, pool-side
time, beach time, snorkeling, diving, fishing, gambling, etc. Although our
off-season trip to St. Kitts coincided with two local holidays (meaning that
many attractions and stores were closed) there was plenty for our group to do.
We had great time and are already talking about going back.

www.geographia.com/stkitts-nevis
– This “Official Site of the St. Kitts & Nevis Department of
Tourism” contains a wealth of information about activities –
including boating, diving and diving, hotels, restaurants and events on
St. Kitts and Nevis

www.moorings.com/home.asp
Information on chartering a boat from The Moorings; you can sail from
St. Martin to St. Kitts-Nevis.

www.stkitts-tourism.com – More
information about St. Kitts, including watersports vendors. This site has a
great slide show, interactive map and virtual tours of many island spots (see
the fort and the giant pig), including Porte Zante’s ferry dock and
marina.

www.marriott.com
– Check out the newly refurbished Marriott Resort and Royal Beach Casino
on St. Kitts – beautiful place, gorgeous grounds, decadent spa, fabulous
beach and really, really nice staff.

www.maptech.com
– Buy charts here so you can find that secluded bay on St. Kitts.

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