Climb Brimstone Hill

After leaving Rawlins Plantation we drove south along the coast, then turned left for the steep, narrow, twisting climb up to the Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site of historical, cultural, and architectural significance. The park’s website will tell you much more about the history and preservation of this amazing fortress than I possibly can relate on this short page. But as you look at the following photos, you will be in awe of the ingenuity and incredible effort ┬áthat was required to design and build this massive fortification.

Looking south from Brimstone Hill
Looking south from Brimstone Hill

From sea level to the near 1000 foot peak, you come across one fortification after another, each entered through a narrow portal barely wide enough for our tiny car to pass.
Massive Walls and Tiny Portals
Massive Walls and Tiny Portals

Although we all realize life in the early years of the colonization of this hemisphere was much harsher than we could probably endure, living and serving at this fortress must have had its perks. For one thing, the view makes you feel as if you are gazing down at the rest of the world from somewhere close to the heavens. You can actually see a slight curve to the earth’s horizon from this elevation. The startling blue of the Caribbean sea fills you with a sense of wonder and a desire for exploration.
Gun Ports aim Towards the Curve of the Horizon
Gun Ports aim Towards the Curve of the Horizon

We’d already had a full day, and we took a quick tour of this site. Unfortunately, much of it was inaccessible to Joy as there were no ramps or elevators. While she sat on one of the decks overlooking the sea, I ran from one view to another taking as many photos as possible to show her after we returned to the boat and sat in the comfort of our cabin.
Hear the Call to Arms as Ships approach from Nevis
Hear the Call to Arms as Ships approach from Nevis

We’d accomplished a great deal while in St. Kitts. Several little repairs were behind us; we’d met several very nice local residents; we’d seen a great deal of the island, and now it was time to move on. We’d been watching the weather, of course, and pondering whether to include Montserrat in our trip this year. Sailing there meant taking a much harder angle towards Guadeloupe, possibly not making our destination on one tack. So, we made the decision to bypass Montserrat on the east side slipping just under the lee of Kingdom of Redonda, then ghosting on down to Guadeloupe in, hopefully, what would be an early morning light wind. Fortunately, both Customs and Immigration were in on a Sunday morning, and we slipped our lines late in the afternoon for the long run down to Guadeloupe.

We Move South to Guadeloupe