Friday, March 22, 2024


The tender to Saint-Barthélemy (St. Barth, St. Barths or St. Barts, a department of France) weaves between huge yachts and the ship's second officer, who is going ashore with us, tells us that three of the largest are owned by a rich Russian and are full of his various family members.  Just after that, a jet ski whizzes by by the tender, driven by a young woman, followed closely by a speedboat with three men in bulletproof vests standing and watching closely.  The second officer turns to us and says, "bodyguards."

The harbor is full of yachts

 Next to the terminal are more yachts and the main street

 The Church at the port

We first walk through the town (only a few blocks), along the harbor, then cut over to Shell Beach, a short walk from the harbor and covered with millions of shells.  We should have brought our swim suits, the beach, water, and bay are so inviting, complete with beach walkers, swimmers, sunbathers, and free wifi.

 Shell Beach

 We wander back into town and find an open bar for an afternoon beer.  As we enjoy the holiday crowd and the great bistro atmosphere (and, more free wifi), much of the rest of our ship wanders in and fills the remaining seats.

 Hanging at the bistro

As the shops open, we stick our heads into a few and find incredible French shirts (for me) and sweatshirts (for Laura and Jennifer), acquired to take home.  After shopping, we wonder what is on the other side of the island, and away we go.

We catch a taxi over the hill, pass the airport, and wander onto another great beach, just past the airport.


Airport at end of beach, great fencing!

After a stroll up and down the beach, we enter into the bar at the Eden Rock and order a bottle of champagne to enjoy as we watch the day wind down.

 Table in the bar, looking at the beach

We have a great chat with our server, who is Italian, worked in Paris for a few years, and then moved to St. Barths.  What a life!  And, I got to practice both my [limited] French and my [even more limited] Italian!

After our drink, our taxi comes back to pick us up and return us to the terminal to catch our shuttle back to the ship.  While we're waiting for the taxi, someone famous, we think from the New York Giants, picks up his car from the valet:  our star sighting for the day.

 Other end of the airport as we head up the hill toward Gustavia

Views of Gustavia and the harbor as we descend

 Setting sun in St. Barths harbor

And, as the sun sets, we move on toward out next stop. 

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