March 01, 2019

Feb 28, St Kitts

We are the first ship to arrive at 7:00. The skies are mostly cloudy, and showers can be seen over the nearby mountains. The temperatures are in the upper 70's.

About 8:30 the MSC Preziosa glides in to the other side of our pier. A much newer much larger ship. My guess is pushing 6000 passengers.

Just as I start walking down the pier to my gathering point for my tour the rain arrives. It was too windy to use an umbrella, and the vinyl  raincoats are too hot. I just get a little wet. I keep my camera in my driest pocket. We are soon herded into awaiting buses, 20 passengers per bus. About 15  buses in total, some passengers from each ship.

It is about an hour tour prior to boarding the train. The sugar cane production ended many decades ago, and all that remains is the remnants of some of the old factories. Nothng has come to replace the lost industry.

The Chinese have started building a large resort hotel, but that too looks abandoned after  being about 35% built.

The excursion train runs on the abandoned narrow gauge tracks where trains were used to gather sugar cane and haul it to the processing facilities.  The buses are relatively new, the rail equipment very old. The four bridges have been updated with new timbers on top of the old steel girders.  About 10% of the decaying wood rail ties have been replaced with concrete ones. Probably enough to keep the rails in gauge.

The motive power is a non descript small diesel electric. Additional power comes from diesel generators housed in a make shift car behind the engine.

The tour lasts just under 4 hours.

It sprinkled a few times on the train, but I stayed relatively dry on the open upper level. Just as we arrive back at the dock, it rains quite hard for about 15 minutes. Everyone gathers in the shelter of the local shops until the rain passes. Back to the cabin, shower and dry clothes. If it wasn't, it is now laundry day.

Since morning the Seabourn Odyssey has also berthed on the far side of the harbor. During recent hurricanes, one of the two main piers were destroyed, and workers are busy constructing a new one. All the pilings appear to be in place, and maybe 10% of the concrete deck. Probably another year or two to complete. Crowded with two ships this morning, I can imagine what it would be like with four. 

Last night was very quiet in the dining room. I would guess 25% of the seating empty between 5:30 and 6:00 when I was there. Tonight is my favorite, but most difficult menu. Three good choices.

The waiter suggests the chicken cordon blu, one of my favorites. It was not the best choice. kind of dry and the rice wasn't warm enough to melt soft butter. I eat most of it.

The only entertainment is the love and marriage game show, Chester will get my attention again tonight.

Our next port is St Martin. As has been the case as we move from island to island, the pace of the ship is very slow. The seas are a little heavier at about seven feet, and the ship exhibits a little motion.