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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Blast from the Past!

Hi everyone - Renee here. Some of you original Island Babble readers know I started this blog in 2009 after 3 years of traveling and living on a sailboat (a tale shared in A Sail of Two Idiots). We lived and worked on St. Kitts for 4 years (adopted 2 island kitties), and then ended up back in the U.S. when the job situation went kapoot. After being outside the U.S. for 7 years, it was quite an adjustment returning. Traffic lights? Driving at 75mph+.  Road rage. "Do Not" signs everywhere. A country in a constant state of excitability. Yes, when you want things done, an island can be a frustrating place due to its slow pace, and why oh why do stores constantly run out of Diet Coke/Pepper (my morning coffee), but sheesh - slow the heck down! Breathe.

We've both been back to St. Kitts once since our Sept 2012 departure and it still felt like home. This visit, 2 years later, feels no different. It feels like we never left. As soon as we saw the island from the air, our whole demeanor changed. We relaxed.

I documented our first day here on my Scoop Fountain Hills blog, but since that blog is about Arizona, I'll be documenting our stay here on Island Babble. As you may know, I handed my blog over to Ben who's been documenting his experiences on-island, but he's about to head back to the U.S. for good soon himself. You'll be getting a 2 for 1 special as we both post over the next month. After that? It's unclear what will happen to this blog, so enjoy us while you've got us!

As Ben posted previously, the Hash House Harriers 20th Anniversary hash is coming up and will entail 4 days of craziness, starting tomorrow (Thursday). There is also a regatta on Saturday, and the annual Latin Festival on Sunday. Can we fit all this in? Dunno, but we're going to try!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Tropical Storm Gonzalo Monday Morning

The wind gusts are just starting to pick up here as Tropical Storm Gonzalo swirls away just off to our east.

We haven't had much rain yet but its on it's way soon. I hope everyone has taken precautions to stock up on food, flashlights, or gasoline/diesel fuel for your generators. I would also recommend charging up all your electronics and doing your laundry if needed because with gusts like they are reporting out of Antigua our electricity will be guaranteed to be out.

Read this post from a correspondent for in Antigua:

"I have been on the telephone with my friends in Antigua and they are having a really, really rough time, it appears that they have been taken by surprise by the ferocity of TS Gonzalo, a gust has been recorded so far at 102 MPH. It will be upgraded to a hurricane soon if not already.  We hope everyone stays safe and that damage is kept to a minimum."

I can't imagine 102 mph gusts here but if they're there in Antigua we'll definitely get them here in St. Kitts because the storm has only strengthened since yesterday.

Anyways,most stores like Rams Supermarket are closed today as well as Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. I heard that Best Buy Supermarket is open but the stock is slim already. The problem is that they can't bring in a cargo ship and replenish the stores like they do every week, not to mention the usual haulers with trucks won't be out delivering to smaller stores.

I'm not intending to scare anyone but just be aware of what you should need for a few days. Make sure the storm is completely past us before you venture out and by all means, stay out of the ghauts and don't park in the ghauts no matter how small they look at the moment. We were caught off guard twice in the first few months when we arrived and were basically cooped up for three days each time.

It seems like a climatic and boring waiting game when these storms move so slowly and that is also what makes them such a hassle because they'll hang over the island and swirl like a toilet for a few days sometimes since they move at 10 miles per hour. All the while they'll be dropping rain amounts you've never seen before on you.

You can read about the two tropical storms we weathered here in my posts two years ago: Tropical Storm Raphael Part 1  and Tropical Storm Raphael Part 2

This storm two years ago, almost to the day, is what produced this famous picture that made it to CNN.

We've been very lucky since then but it looks like there might be another storm setting up behind Gonzalo for a one-two combination. We'll have to wait and see.

I'll update as much as possible. The internet connection is the deciding factor. Stay Safe and visit Storm Carib, the best Caribbean storm site according to me.

This photo I borrowed not from Storm Carib but from a friends facebook page. the arrow is St. Kitts.

And look at where the Eye Wall is now!!!

Thursday, October 9, 2014


Alright, I know its a dumb headline but the only word I could think of for participants who can't get enough of hash running on this beautiful island of St. Kitts and because we've had so many hash events this month.

Previous Hash in Cayon

This group of mishmash of runners, hikers, and walkers are always doing something good for the community and unfortunately I haven't even been able to attend all of the events or hashes lately.

But, I will be there to support the group for their 20th Anniversary "Hashtacular" events. There is no reason why you shouldn't be out to help support them too. I see no down side to paying 2 E.C. dollars (less than 1 U.S. dollar) hiking or running in a new area of St. Kitts or Nevis every 3 weeks. If you can think of any negatives to this, then please let me know.

Let me first tell you the details of the Hash run we have going on THIS Saturday, October 11th near Molineux and then I'll explain the 20th Anniversary Hash Extravaganza details. (Extravaganza is a word Kittitians love to use for their events.)

On Saturday, Hash number 329 will commence in the Molineux area at Fraites & Sons Bakery Parking Lot at 3:30 p.m. Here are the directions but it's almost impossible to miss since it's right on the island main road and you should see the yellow Fraites Bakery vans too.

How to get there : Take the island main road from Basseterre, past the airport, Conaree village, Cayon, Ottleys and Lodge. After you exit Lodge Village you will come to a small roundabout. Take the right turn at the roundabout, which would continue on the island main road, but just after you make the turn, look for the large yellow building with a blue roof and blue trim. You can't miss it. It's clearly marked "Fraites & Sons Bakery".

You can't miss this hash because yours truly and Greg-Sa-Far-I are setting the run and this area is one of my favorites on the entire island because of it's natural secluded beauty. If you know Greg than you know that he knows St. Kitts better than anyone.

Molineux St. Kitts


We realize a number of people have had difficulty getting to register for the Hash 20th Anniversary Weekend, so we are facilitating by adding a few more days to the deadline for the early registration special. It's now extended to October 13. BUT!! Don't wait till then, as you can register at this weekend's hash! So bring your payment and register at this weekend's hash. Tshirts for the 20th anniversary will also go on sale on Saturday so get yours early - remember supplies are limited!

The Mismanagement Team at Hash Inc. Headquarters have put together some spectacular deals for you, so listen up:

Here is a calendar of the events planned during the October 23 - 26, 2014 weekend

Thursday October 23 - Meet & Greet Lime at Shipwreck Beach Bar starting at 6 pm until. Meet hashers coming from overseas, and enjoy some food and drink and a good old Hash lime.

Friday October  24 - "Rum Shop Run" 6 p.m.- this is a "bar crawl" where we start from 17 Degrees Night Club on Victoria Road and run to selected bars (4 or 5), stop at each bar and fire some drinks, then on to the next bar until we return to the start point for a big lime with food and drink!! Starts at 6pm.

Saturday October 25 "Normal" Hash Run at 3:30 PM - venue to be determined
Then at 8:00 PM we go to Shiggedy Shack for a Hash Dinner and lime with a Steel Pan Band in attendance, and  Karaoke

Sunday October 26 - Hash Catamaran Cruise to Nevis sailing at 12 noonWe gather at Port Zante at 11:30 for boarding.  Hash Run in Nevis followed by Hash Lime & sports on the Beach. Then we set sail at sunset for a rocking party lime on the way back.
Now, here's the deal. We have to cater for the food and drinks for all of these events, so we need everyone to register and pay EARLY!! You will save if you do and the Early registration special has been extended until Monday, October 13th. The Early Bird price for All events is EC$200. 

Registration for the entire package if you miss the special will be EC$250. Now remember that's for the ALL EVENT Package.

This is what is included in each event with your payment:
Meet & Greet   - Food + 3 drinks. After 3 drinks you can purchase your own additional drinks from the Shipwreck bar.

Rum Shop Run  - One free drink at each bar we visit, food at the venue. Additional drinks can be purchased at the venue.

Saturday Hash - Will operate as per usual

Hash Dinner at Shiggidy Shack - Buffet Dinner plus 3 drinks

Catamaran Cruise to Nevis - Catamaran Fare and drinks on the boat + food and 3 drinks on the beach.
OK, So There may be people who may not be able to or do not wish to attend ALL events. For those persons, they can register for the individual events(A LA CARTE) they wish to attend as follows:

Meet and Greet at Shipwreck: Thursday, Oct. 23rd - $50

Rum Shop Run (BAR CRAWL): Friday,Oct. 24th - $50

Post Hash Hash Dinner at Shiggedy Shack: Sat, Oct. 25th  - $60

Catamaran Nevis Cruise: Sunday Oct. 26th - $150

So please remember, you must book early for all events except the regular hash on the Saturday. This is the only event where you can show up without pre-registering. And remember also that the Catamaran Cruise will have limited space, so to ensure your space, book early! No tickets will be sold after October 15!!

Registrations can be made by contacting Heather at and making arrangement for payment. She will also be available for registration and payment weekdays at Ross University.

Event T-shirts will also be available before hand or at each event for only EC$35. We also have Hash Caps for EC$45

Ok, so now that you know what events are taking place you need to REGISTER NOW or at Saturday's Hash.

If you did attend the 5th Annual Children's Home Walk/Run on Saturday October 4 and signed your name with the usual hash attendance taker then the run counts as a hash of its own. That event drew quite a turn out.

With all of the hashes and events going on this month you could really get some attendance points. We had the Children's walk/run, This Saturday's hash, The 20th Anniversary Hash, and The Nevis Hash. That's four hashes in one month!! That should quench your hash thirst.

In the meantime make sure you patronize and thank the sponsors for the Anniversary Weekend Events.  ON! ON!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Summer Holiday Break

In an effort to spend less time on the computer and more time with family visiting I will be taking a short break from posting. The following posts will be up in the beginning of September.

  • Animal Welfare Day 
  • Going Green
  • In the Know September 

Until then enjoy the last few days of summer holidays.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

In the Know - August

*Note if you want your child to join in summer camps make sure to take note of registration deadlines below.*


St Kitts Camp Options

The Market Street Community Camp

    The Market Street Community Development Group presents its inaugural Summer Camp for children ages 5 to 12 years old.   The camp will be held at Dorset Park from Monday August 18th to Friday August 22nd from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

    Come learn, grow and play while we work towards building a stronger community together.

    Registration ends on Friday August 8th.  Call 663 5001 for more details.

    The Youth Extravaganza Explosion of Arts Camp


      The Youth Extravaganza Explosion of Arts invites the general public to be a part of its summer celebration. From August 11-15, a summer camp will be held at the Dean Glasford Primary School from 9am until 4pm.

      Applicants ages 6-14 may sign up for two of the following areas: art, cooking, drama, dance, song, sports or technology. For further information, contact the Chairman, Mr. Wricherley Gumbs at 763-7218 or the Co-chairman, Mr. Hashim Ruan at 764-0451.

      “Explore and Explode in your imagination”

      Facebook page: Youth Extravaganza Explosion of Arts.

Nevis Camp Option


Cricket is very much on the forefront for August. Check out Ben's informative post on Island Babble for more information. 

Thought this was a neat way to rep your cricket team.
Get your face painted!
A Sakoda scapa and Dazzleme Face Painting collaboration.
Support your team
Adults: $15
Children: $10
2pm - 4pm on game days

Even if you do not get a chance to watch a game be aware there will be some restrictions in Basseterre during the games.
There will be some road restrictions and parking restrictions during Cricket. For detailed information go to Road Restrictions for CPL


I am all into healthy food. Meaningful Mealz is an option now. 
For Ross students studying the next two weeks, they deliver. 
For family summer fun, August can be filled with picnic times. Want to have a picnic at the beach or pop a squat on the Frigate Bay greens or under the canopy of the rainforest, but just don't have the time to put together a picnic. Meaningful mealz does picnics too!

I hope some of you got a chance to enjoy Culturama in Nevis this past holiday weekend. It is on my list of things to do. I hope to join in on the fun next year.

If I have missed something important for in the know please let me know. If you have a community event coming up and want us to share please contact Heidi at

PAWS ANIMAL WELFARE DAY and Going Green Post coming soon!

Until next time!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Wanna Watch Some Cricket??

Cricket -- the mysterious baseball "like" game that was brought to and is still played in almost all of Britain's former colonial states is actually a very interesting game.

St. Kitts happens to be one of the islands where cricket is still somewhat popular and many people are trying to reignite the spark the sport once had here. You will see importance of cricket to St. Kitts as you walk around in downtown Basseterre. Just slightly northeast of Cayon Street (The Main North to South street running parallel to the Caribbean Sea.) in town you'll notice a green and white stadium. This stadium takes up nearly as much space as Independence Square, The Pelican Shopping Mall, and The General Post Office combined.

This stadium is Warner Park, named after the first English settler of St. Kitts, Sir Thomas Warner. The stadium was built with the assistance of Taiwan, who funded seven of the 10 million dollars to build it in 2006. It's been said that it's one of the finest cricket stadiums in the West Indies and with a recent million dollar renovation it's ready to live up to that statement.

The New lighting and scoreboards are awesome and I can see them from my house lighting up the town.

Your chance to watch some fantastic cricket matches is coming up this week, as St. Kitts hosts the Caribbean Premier League T20 World Cup Tournament starting Thursday, August 7th, at 4 p.m.

In fact, you may have seen the billboards up along the roads for the event.

The teams have been having matches for the past month in this tournament in various Caribbean stadiums but the finals are proudly being hosted in St. Kitts this year.

The CPL consists of six teams, all from the Caribbean. The teams have interesting team names too. You have The Antigua Hawksbills

And The Red Steel (Trinidad)

If you're the least bit interested I would highly recommend catching a match or more. If you're an American like myself you probably won't get another chance to watch Cricket.

The tournament, as I mentioned starts on August 7th, then the next match is August 9th, then 10th and then August 12th, 13th, and 14th, with the finals on August 16th. There are plenty of chances to catch a match.

The CPL20 also has a Facebook and webpage that offer even more in depth information here: and webpage.

St. Kitts Cricket Association has a Facebook page too:St. Kitts Cricket

I was fortunate and curious enough to have gone to a cricket match at Warner Park last year when the West Indies team had a match. I must say that I really enjoyed the game and if you like baseball then you'll probably enjoy cricket too.

With that said it does take some pre-match research ( I honestly like Wikipedia's instructions: Cricket) to understand or if you don't get time to do that then just ask one of the fans at the match. They'll be able to give you some tips on how the game works. The matches tend to be long but that's the nature of cricket. I did both of the above and still don't have it all figured out but enough that I can sort of tell someone else how the game works.

I was thoroughly impressed with the athleticism of the athletes. Like baseball there is a player who pitches the ball to the batter, but the outs work differently and the ball can be hit more places then in baseball. I say the players are more athletic because they have to be. In cricket nearly every player "pitches" or bowls the ball in each game. The defending players or non-batting team in the "outfield" do not wear gloves, which makes for some interesting catches. I saw guys leap up and tumble to the ground in a spinning motion in an effort to catch and I'm assuming to soften the balls momentum. It's quite acrobatic actually.

Then you have the wicket, which looks like an abacus sitting on two upright poles. The batter is not only trying to hit the ball but also protect the wicket from being hit by the incoming pitch.

 Another interesting feature of the game are the hats. The players and referees wear some interesting hats and that in itself is enough to come out for.

Apparently the hats have been a tradition of cricket for a long time:

I could write about this all day but the best way to experience this is to come out yourself. The tickets are very inexpensive (Starting at 20 E.C. and half price for children.) and it's a great opportunity for St. Kitts and yourself.

Also in keeping with Caribbean party anytime anywhere style you can buy tickets for the ultimate party while watching the match. For 200 E.C. you can experience the Karma Party Stand venue which features a pool, foam pit, and live DJ's from Trinidad and St. Kitts.

I hope to see you there!

You can buy tickets for the matches in person at Courts, Digecel Locations, at the Stadium Office, or online at

If you miss the tournament don't fret. There is another cricket match coming up too on August 27th between The West Indies and Bangladesh. This is an international match and should also be very interesting.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Part II Nevis Naturally Inspired

Our day continued on Neivs to Sunshines from Chrishi Beach. Once again I forgot to take photos at Sunshines. I have snatched some from other sites. Links to the respective blogs and websites are below. These are great links about the Caribbean and information on Nevis.


Sunshines is a must do when in Nevis. Their plants and trees are growing creating more shade and an oasis. 
(Photo compliments of Uncommon Caribbean Travel Blog)  

The place is looking snazzy. Fresh paint, gift shop and lounge areas everywhere. Take your pick. 

Pick 1: Under the roofed restaurant area
(Photo Compliments of Ron and Rhian) Check out the site about their Sailing Experience in the Caribbean.

Pick 2 & 3: On the outside deck or at the picnic tables with your toes in the sand.
(Photo Compliments of Ron and Rhian)

or a choice to hang under the shade of the larger trees. 
A swing set is set on the beach for the children to play. 

I took a miss on the killer bees. One of those drinks that you just don't see coming.  They are a bit much for me these days, but I remember them being really tasty.If you haven't had one it is worth a try.
(Fantastic photo of Killer Bees by Explore Nevis)


Fern Hill is a very peaceful area overlooking St Kitts. There are many villa rental options for visitors. The road is a bit bumpy getting up there, but not to the extent that it deters from the beauty once up there. I always find tranquility and peace when surrounded by lush forest. Is is a haven after a day at the beach.


The following day we went to the Hermitage for lunch. The gardens are a photographers dream, an artists muse. Serene atmosphere, nooks and crannies filled with perfectly placed rocks, trees, flowers and more. 
Service in the restaurant came with a smile. 
I can't believe I have been living in St. Kitts for over seven years and had not taken the opportunity to make it to Hermitage sooner. I plan on saving up to stay for a few days. 

New Castle Potters

I have seen ceramic monkey's and pineapples in so many places on St Kitts and Nevis. We decided we should go to visit the artist.

In an effort to buy local we are always looking for ways to integrate local art into our home. New Castle Potters continues the age old tradition of hand built, red clay pottery which they fire over burning coconut husks. 

We decided on pineapples to hang as our outdoor light fixtures. We are waiting on our order to be finished and researching different marine grade lighting options to install behind the pineapples.

Once they are installed I will take some photos. In the meantime enjoy these. If you are interested in your own pieces for your home you can contact New Castle Potters at (869) 469-9746 or visit their cooperative on the Main Road, New Castle Nevis, just past the airport on the right side if headed from town.

Share with us some of your favorite artists on St. Kitts & Nevis. 
I can count eight artists just off the top of my head. 
Glass Work

Coming Soon!
  • In the Know August
  • Animal Welfare for PAWS AND BARC
CULTURAMA GOING ON IN NEVIS NOW! Check out the website for more informaiton. 

The sun is peaking out. Bertha is on her way out. Enjoy the long weekend!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Part I: Was In Need of a Break: Nevis Naturally Inspired

Orignally I started this post suggesting I was getting away from the humdrum. I realized this was not an approriate explanation. There is no humdrum in my life at the moment. In all honesty I needed a short getaway. Maybe you're thinking it should not be that difficult to just chill when a person is surrounded by beaches and calm pristine blue ocean. Well if you are not vacationing here, which is awesome might I add, life is a bit different. There are the bills, upkeep and maintenance & work that come along with salt air, wear and tear, and making a living to maintain this most amazing life. We also have a not so pleasant large construction zone right on our doorstep. It comes with a lot of dust & noise. I would not change island living (specifically St Kitts and Nevis) unless absolutely necessary, but I needed a break!

We all need a break, even when living on a beautiful Island. Here on St Kitts some refer to a break as getting off the rock. I happened to be in luck. Getting off the rock to get on another rock was on the horizon. Good friends of ours were visiting Nevis so we hopped over for an overnight stay. All I can say is WOW! 

I felt like this Monkey

On top of the world!

I feel like I have been on a mini vacation every time I go to Nevis . It helps to have friends who make you feel so at home and people you know calling out your name. The best part, if you are a visitor here for just a short while and you love it, you will also be made to feel at home. I know because I did before I moved here. St Kitts and Nevis Life at it's best. Those friends far away join you and those living on Nevis know you even if you live on the other Island, St Kitts.

On Nevis View of St. Kitts

We took the seabridge as foot passengers, a much more cost effective deal if you don't need a car and have your own transport to Majors Bay in St Kitts. 
Helpful hint: If you are just beaching it for the day many of the beach bars and hangouts on Nevis are within walking distance from the Seabridge. It just depends on what you want to do.  
The Sea Bridge is 20EC per person each way. Timewise once you get to Majors Bay you are looking at a 20 minute ferry ride versus 30 to 40 minute one on the ferries from Basseterre to Charlestown. It is a beach to beach transport versus a town to town transport. The choice you make depends on what your vibe is. If you don't have transport to Majors Bay, taxi's will gladly shuttle you out and pick you up upon your return time. If you have a rental car we have left our car at Majors Bay overnight with no issue.

For once the Sea Bridge was pretty much on time. We even had a very large group of over 30 people waiting to go along with more than 12 cars. There was a church ceremony going on so everyone was all dressed in their best. Beautiful to see. Apparently there was some sort of covention going on at the Marriott and they were headed to Nevis for a ceremony. Very warm nice group. 

All in all we managed to leave only a half hour after our slated departure time. No wait.....  I could be very wrong on this, my husband is insisting it was about 12:45 before we left if not 1pm. Now that I think about it I remember being quite ravenous upon our arrival in Nevis so it would have been well after lunch time. 

If I were commuting for work I would be very frustrated, however I was at leisure and we had planned as such. I know quite well from experience the seabridge does not always go when it says it will. When picking up my sailing campers commuting from Nevis via the Seabridge the wait was quite long sometimes.

Island time. So it goes.....Not so much of an asset when you need to be somewhere. We do however live on Island time and each and every one of us gets used to giving excuses for our tardiness. The excuses are usually quite spot on, but maybe not for the Seabridge. Take note you may not leave on time. Plan accordingly. 

Take drinks, snacks and sunblock with you in case of a long wait. If you are prepared thirst, hunger and swealtering boredom will not overtake you. Go in your bathing attire and you may even decide to take a dip in the calm sea at Majors Bay. 

Majors Bay is completely barrenly beautiful just mind the rocks where sea urchins might be habitating. They are not hard to spot or avoid once you know to avoid rocky areas. They only cause issue when you step on them.

Maybe too much information, but important to know. It is also always nice to make sure you have used the loo (bathroom) prior to setting off for the Seabridge departure spots, unless of course you are going for a swim and don't mind relieving yourself in the ocean. No food, drink or loos (bathrooms) available while you wait. 

Once on board the Seabridge only drinks and a dodgy loo are available.  They will not ask you if you want a drink or offer a bathroom, but they have both available upon request.

Majors Bay Departure: View from the Sea Bridge

We decided to take the 12pm Seabridge to give us ample time for our pick up on the other side at 2:30pm. Our friends have twins just two years old so we did not want to risk their timing of things. Children need a bit of a schedule. I know this from ample experience with little ones. We figured we could get in a lunch at Chrishi Beach Club while we waited for our friends. It was always a the place for us when we sailed guests over from Cockleshell Bay.

We hopped off the seabridge and sauntered down the beach to Chrishi Beach Club restaurant. Depending on your stride it is a five minute walk to the right of the seabridge dock looking at Nevis Peak. If you are a sailor then you can rent a hobie cat from Cockleshell Bay, St kitts and sail over within a half hour and spend a day. 

Chrishi Beach Club

Norwegians at their best!

I was a lucky young one to spend three summers in beautiful Norway with family friends. The owners and their children bring back the memories.

Upon arrival at Chrishi Beach I told my husband to remind me to take photos for Island Babble of the food. Wouldn't you know we both forgot. Must of been that fabulous bloody mary I had and his Carib, combined with getting our vacation mode on.

I had a tasty Ceasar Salad just right with Nevis hydroponic lettuce to die for. He had a Ciabata bread sandwich with a pesto spread, brie and parma ham, the lunch special for the day. Can't beat the food there. Fresh, healthy, filling and tasty.

The service is always great and the ambiance, well it speaks for itself.

The walkway in and out of Chrishi lends itself to palms, flowering flamboyants, a tight rope between two palms that many try and a tire swing. Sweet!

We want to know where your mini-vacation spot is? We all have one, or at least I think we all should have one! Share yours here.

A short, but sweet post with more Nevis Naturally and St. Kitts life coming your way soon: 

In the Know for August: Culturama and more

Part II Nevis Naturaly Inspired: Sunshines, Fern Hill, Hermitage, Nevis Pottery 

St Kitts: About Animal Welfare Day, PAWS & BARC