Posted by: yachtcrewsing | February 17, 2012

Anchored in St. Barth’s/St. Barts

   Saint Barthélemy, Saint-Barth, St. Barth’s, St. Barts… However you say it, it means one thing: playground of the rich and famous.

    There is no other place in the Caribbean where such a large fleet of superyachts and megayachts gather on anchor, where you can find Roman Abramovich (one of the wealthiest men in the world) casually sitting across the bar, where the stars come to ‘get away from it all’ and where a day’s shopping requires that any normal person max out every available credit card. Charming, exclusive and private, it is no wonder that the island has so strongly attracted the privileged few for the past half century.

    We arrived in St. Barth’s on Tuesday afternoon after a smooth seven-hour sail from Antigua. Anchoring outside of the main port of Gustavia, we were unsurprised to be amongst the ranks of Jimmy Buffet’s boat and other large motor yachts in the bay.

  Wednesday’s task for us stewardesses was to visit all of the people and restaurants that we will be employing for the duration of the upcoming St. Barth’s Bucket Regatta, a sailing race that is truly unsurpassed by any other event in the yachting calendar. As are most things in St. Barth’s, this regatta is very exclusive; it is only open to yachts that are 100 feet or larger (the largest boat amongst the 43 entered this year is 203 feet).

    We were driven to town in the tender in early morning with a full schedule of places to go. Our primary aim was to gain a comprehensive understanding of the port, more specifically in relation to restaurants and bars. Thus we happily set off walking around the idyllic harbour, a place pleasantly dotted with yachts of all sizes and populated with small little white buildings capped with red roofs. 

    Gustavia is a charming town partially due to its compact nature; it contains an array of little boutiques nestled in pleasant alleyways, patisseries where customers casually drink espressos and delicately nibble on the Caribbean’s best croissants, and a distinctly French ambiance permeating the tropical climate.

    After a brief meeting with a Yacht Services representative in the late morning, we met with out taxi driver who will be chauffeuring the race crew for the duration of the Bucket. We were then taken to the Hotel Tropical which is the location in which they will all be staying (race crew are responsible for the cost of their flights, but the boat pays for accommodation and meals for the 5 days of the regatta). We met with the manager, had a tour of the premises (very charming) and went over final details such as room assignments and arrival times.

    After spending the afternoon on the boat, my chief stewardess and I were ferried back into Gustavia as the sun set over the yachts bobbing at anchor. Our final mission for the day was a pleasant one- we had meetings with the managers of the four dinner venues chosen to host our 35 race crew. In no hurry, we made our introductions and sat down for some wine (the French way) and to discuss table arrangement, wine selection and last-minute details.

    In true St. Barth’s fashion, when it comes to the Bucket Regatta, the race where all of the millionaires and billionaires come to play, no detail can be left unplanned and no expense may be spared… Quintessentially, superyachting.

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Responses

  1. Great report !


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