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I Think I See a Trend

Just about a month ago I posted a blog about the travails some friends had trying to get from Anguilla to Antigua and beyond. (Easy come, easy go or not http://whaddyadoallday.com/?p=555 ) That story ended with an impromptu tailgate picnic in the parking lot of the Anguilla airport. I think now we may have a meme. Here’s the latest:

Our last group of winter guests arrived at the end of March. They’ve been to Anguilla many times so this time we thought we would take a few days at the end of their stay to visit St. Barths. We love St Barths. In fact, if we hadn’t thought we’d always be going to the beach (St. Barths doesn’t have many beaches but then again we hardly ever go anyway) and if we had had a whole lot more money, we might have moved there instead of Anguilla. Luckily, we have a friend, Mary Ann, who has a house there on the hill overlooking St. Jean (Eden Rock Hotel, Nikki Beach, and the airport). So we made arrangements to take our friends to meet Mary Ann.

To get from Anguilla to Barths, you can charter a plane. (We did not.) You can charter a boat. (We did not.) Or you can take the regular ferry from Anguilla to St Martin; and then, if you are lucky, the ferry to St. Barths leaves from the same terminal in Marigot on that day. (We were not.) Otherwise you take a cab to Oyster Pond and catch the ferry to St. Barths from there. (That’s what we did.) We bought our tickets online choosing a schedule that didn’t require getting up out of the house at 7am but would still get us to St. Barths around noon. There was a big Bucket Race yachting competition ending that day. And Mary Ann and her French friends were planning a lovely Sunday lunch for our arrival.

The best laid plans.

We arrived at Oyster Pond only to find the ferry’s check-in window closed with a note tacked on the wall informing us that our boat had been cancelled. The note claimed to have tried to reach us with this news, but we had never received notification. In a long and complicated story, the email they sent was later found in Michael’s spam folder while the captain of the ship which had just docked on its return trip from Barths told us that there is NEVER a boat that leaves at that time midday. So we were none too happy especially given that the next boat was not scheduled to depart for another 5 hours and there is NOTHING to do and just two little restaurants in the marina at Oyster Pond.

At least the captain was kind enough to let us sit on the boat in the air-conditioning while we waited. But still, 5 hours is a long, damn time to sit around doing nothing and reading (though in all fairness that’s pretty much what most of our houseguests tend to do on a normal day anyway). The bigger disappointment was missing seeing the racing yachts coming back into the harbor at the end of the Bucket Race and inconveniencing Mary Ann (who we did at least manage to contact with our revised arrival time).

However, when we arrived into Gustavia and disembarked the boat, Mary Ann and her friends were there waiting with…..a picnic….of quiche and fruit and, of course, wine! Fortunately, there’s a conveniently located gazebo located right there in the harbor so we didn’t even have to eat out of the back of the car this time. These arrival and departure picnics could become a tradition. After all, just look at all of our happy, happy faces (L-R John, Michael, Coco, Me, Judy, and Mary Ann).

Gustavia Picnic


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