BOATS, BEACHES, BOOBS AND BUFFETT tember," he said. Tom encouraged Capt. Lama and Melissa to take us sailing on Safari, even when he's not around, and to be sure to visit him in Galway. For those of you who think owning a pub is the way to get rich, Tom wanted to clarify something. He explained that while owning a pub is another passion of his, he and his family make all their money in the toy business. "The Chinese have been very good for our business." Lest anyone get the idea that the life of a charter yacht skipper is all sweetness and light, here's a cautionary tale. A great guy who used to race with us in Antigua had become captain of a nice boat, and his New Year's charter group was a European family with two kids. Things started to go south right away when the charterers assumed that the captain would also be the babysitter for their undisciplined kids. And on the first night, papa slipped into the galley and appeared to sniff something up his nose. He then told his wife that he needed a little space, and somehow fell into the water while on the way to a nightclub. There was a brouhaha with the bouncers, who said that while the 'wet look' was just fine for women, it wasn't going to fly for a middle-aged man like him. Then at 4
a.m., the poor captain was awoken by Mrs. Charterer, who asked that the gendarmes be called to find her husband. It goes without saying that the captain was given no tip at the conclusion of the charter. Geez, we're just getting started on our list of fun people on St. Barth and we're already out of space. There's no room for Filou and Mimi of La Gamelle, Steve the car thief, Marius and Michel of Le Select, the not-yet-dead-like-he-promised-us-hewould-be Maxi, Isabelle and little Pablo, Luc and Rachel, the great French sailor Luc Poupon, the shrewd businessman Ernest from the House of Beranger, wild man Jim who sailed around the world three times on a wood boat with a 9-ft beam and his wife Anna and daughter Tiki, Jeff and Kitty of Chicago, whose new Moorings 47 cat just went into service, Anek at La Plage, Manu at La Piment — and it goes on and on. Oh yeah,
Spread; Capt., Lama and Melissa wave from the bow of 'Safari'. Inset left; Pub and 'Safari' owner Tom, with his captain and crew. The Caribbean may never be the same. Inset right; The great 150-ft gaff schooner 'Elenora'. Everybody loves to look at her, but nobody wants to maintain her.
The 2:30 p.m. Windward Air flight lands the 'wrong way', scattering folks on the beach at Baie St. Jean. And he's not even low.
D. Randy West, too, who'd give us crap if we left him out, Bruno, Jacques, Ernest and the others at the port captain's office ... A lot of people — and the New York Times — want you to prove that you can't have a fabulous time at St. Barth unless you spend a fortune. We're now going to prove them wrong by suggesting things that you can do. 1) While anchored at Columbie — where there are free mooring buoys — make the hike to beautiful Flamands Beach and back. It's a remarkably varied trail, affords great views, and is good for your heart and joints. Do it every day, and you'll be more lean and lovable — as long as you don't overdo it with the French wines and cheeses. 2) When the wind is north of east, anchor off Grand Saline Beach, our favorite on the island. This is a fun place to boogie-board and offers endless opportunities to inadvertently see young ladies frolic topless or naked in the surf — not that you're into that kind of thing. 3) When the wind is south of east, anchor beneath the Eden Rock Hotel in Baie St. Jean, a particularly gorgeous beach. While you're there, take the opportunity to dine at the Eden Rock tapas bar, as the view is sensational. It is expensive and the portions are tiny, but if you're going to drop a bundle on a meal, this is where we recommend you do it. At the very least, savor the view while having a drink at the bar. They run about $15, but at least they are very generous drinks. 4) On afternoons when the horizon is clear and there's not too much south in the swell, anchor off Shell Beach and swim to shore for a sundowner at Brazil while you wait for the green flash. 5) One of the great pastimes at St. Barth is watching the little planes try February, 2006 •
• Page 125
The April 2006 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.