Saint Barthélemy or St. Barths for short is a small french island to the south east of St.Maarten. Being a haven for the rich and famous coupled with the fact that I have never been there before I was excited when the opportunity arose. My assignment was to be the designated photographer for the Anguilla basketball team traveling to St.Barths.
Over an hour passed after departing Anguilla aboard the ferry, MV Deluxe before arriving to Port Gustavia, St. Barths which is also the capital of this 8 square mile island. Gustavia welcomed us with a quiet, and sleepy atmosphere with the occasional scooter zooting down a vacant street. The many yachts docked at Gustavia’s marina were also testament to St.Barths’ holiday lifestyle where a Sunday afternoon cruise on the Caribbean Sea is part of the norm.
As we walked across the marina to the basketball venue we came across a french bakery and there is nothing quite as good as having a sandwich made with authentic french bread for breakfast. When we bought our sandwiches even though we payed in US dollars we received our change in Euros. This is the official currency of the European Union and it is used by St. Barths as the island is a dependent territory of France.
Apart from the french bakeries and cafes, street signs and one or two vintage vehicles, downtown Gustavia looks like any other Caribbean island. The occasional coconut palm here and there, zinc roofed houses and streets with cars parked on the sidewalk are classic Caribbean trademarks.
One interesting observation I made on this trip was that apparently people loved to walk their dogs. While such an activity is a common past-time in urban areas it is not that popular in the islands as most dogs are kept as stay-at-home guard dogs. In my opinion this just adds to the laid back lifestyle of St.Barths.
Although I was doing a little sight seeing I was really limited as to how far I could stray away from the team as my main purpose was to take sport photos. I got the opportunity to use a Canon 60 D with a 18-200mm lens in place of my Nikon D70s and 70-300mm lens. The Canon’s 18 mega pixels easily outperformed the my Nikon’s 6 mega pixels resulting in one of the best action shots that I have ever taken with such crisp and sharp detail.
At the end of the day St.Barths turned out to be a really nice place to chill out, relax and enjoy the Caribbean sun if you have the time to do so.