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From St. Martin, we headed to St. Kitts.  As we passed Saba, it was so hazy we could barely see the outline of the island in the distance, but when we got to Statia, the sky had cleared.  Amazingly, there were no clouds obstructing the 2,000 foot volcanic mountain jutting out of the sea.   We took pictures of the volcanic cone from all angles.  Bob was turning the dials of a portable radio and picked up an AM station playing hard core twangin' country music.  The next song was also country but sung half in English, half in Spanish.  Country is cool and truly international. 

As we slowly approached
St. Kitts, we were enchanted with the height of the volcanic mountain, the clouds not only brushing the top but covering the cone.  Below the clouds lay a mantle of lush dark green rain forest and below that a patchwork going down to the sea, a hodge-podge quilt of irregular patterns of plowed brown dirt,  bright new spring green fields, and medium green pasture.  A single road appeared to run slightly inland from the sea with small communities of houses clustered here and there. We passed the main town of Basseterre and headed to a remote uninhabited southern anchorage where we were the only boat to spend the night in the moonlit waters.  We staged there for our departure the next morning.

Approaching St. Kitts

Heading out in the early morning dark, it was light by the time we passed Montserrat. The northern end of the island is inhabited and protected from the southern end's volcano by a high mountain range in between. A volcanic eruption in 1995 destroyed much of the town of Plymouth and rendered it uninhabitable.  The volcano is still very active with steam and clouds coming out of the top.  The devastation was incredible.  As seen from the sea, a portion of the western side of the mountain was bare earth covered with volcanic ash.  A path of lava came down the side of the mountain and flowed out to sea, extending the land for several hundred feet.  Many homes and buildings were  left standing but appeared as a study of sandy brown color.  Only the houses furthest to the north showed a bit of red color on their roofs.

We took the shortest route to Guadeloupe's western coast and its first port, Deshaies, a quaint fishing village.  We ran into La Alantra, our neighbor John from Ft. Lauderdale.  His former crew Bill had returned to Ft. Lauderdale so John had found another person to travel with him from Ponce, Puerto Rico to St. Lucia.  We had a pleasant visit with them. 

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