Last week in an effort to get information for my book I’m writing, under project Z (again top secret), I took a ride on a Bahia 46, Catamaran to the island of St. Barths. I walked among the rich and famous…Ellen Degenerous was there and had a nice party…
…or so I read as I wasn’t invited.
It was my second and probably last time I will have visited this island. As a generality, St. Barths, much like Monaco, is extremely overrated. The “Excellence III” pictured has now become passe as a yacht since it seems having a helicopter is the new “in” thing. I talked to a guy who was staying there and a week at the three bedroom villa cost 46,000 euros. So what or “who” do you get for a week at such a villa? I thought to myself. Ellen must be doing well to afford her 5 bedroom villa for her party.
We walked to a beach bar at the public beach called Shell Beach and we ate at a beach side place called Do Brazil. I ordered a $40 hamburger, washed it down with a twelve dollar beer and people watched with the wife. We had French women model through the place wearing skimpy apparel from the shop next door. At least we were entertained. Ladies with pasted on bikinis oohed and awed at the over priced apparrel. I prepared myself for the bill …a smart 104 Euros (it was smart because it smarted), and Silja, my wife only had an appetizer….whew! At least in France, no tip is expected. We asked for change much to the irritation of the waitress.
My wife reminded me that this is just a tourist restaurant and a real restaurant for the rich and famous would be more, a lot more. I felt as though we got a bargain and walked around looking at the the boats and people in the harbor in the stated attempt to look at birds.
I saw a red footed booby. No that wasn’t the topless woman standing on the rock with red shoes. I stated the obvious anyhow turning away from the bird. “What do you think those cost,” I asked Silja, noting that she was looking at her, too.
“The boobs or the shoes,” she said.
“Well, I was thinking of the shoes,” I gulped. “I’m sure she is not cheap, either.”
“You couldn’t afford either,” She poked me. “You can’t even afford me.”
I could definately also not affford the naked woman standing aft on the 50 million dollar yacht at anchor outside looking towards the ocean. She walked back towards the foredeck. “The rich definately have better plastic surgeons.” I noted. I guess you do get what you pay for. We people-watched for a while and then climbed a hill to see more birds. All we saw was more expensive sailboats and yahcts.
At least the rich and famous can’t take the corporate jets into St Barth’s tiny airport. They all land at St Maarten and take STOL planes (short takeoff and landing) to St Barths which is the second most dangerous airport in the world. Just watching is nerve jarring. Like, you think, you’d never fly again. All these jets at St. Maarten suck down the jet fuel and forced us to land at San Juan for gas. Their needs trump those of commercial aircraft.
St Barth’s is not a birding mecca. Also, because it is too low, it doesn’t get much rain as tradewinds hit it so it isn’t very lush either. The roads are small and crooked. The beaches narrow and isolated. It seemed the Swedes were smart to trade it to the French in the 1880s for potatoes…yes potatoes. They couldn’t imagine that it would become the place of the jet set with such valuable villas and land.
St Barths lacks all Caribbean culture and may be the least diverse island in the Carribean. It may be ‘whiter’ than North Dakota. I guess the rich liberals like Ellen don’t like real diversity. They say birds of a feature flock together. The French have figured this out and seem to be doing their best to ‘milk’ every last dollar, euro, pound, and kronor out of all the the tourists here. After walking around, we took the dinghy back to our modest boat, my only keepsake, a large stamp in my passport and the memories.
So why wasn’t Olaf Danielson….the most interesting man in the world…invited to Ellen’s party? Wtf you say? Well, I find I don’t even get invited to parties of my friends, either. I just have too many interesting stories and it wouldn’t be fair to the other guests to have me come since, to be quite honest, nobody else would have anything interesting to talk about. I think it was Ellen Degenerous’ loss.
That twelve dollar beer really was good!
So stay thirsty, my friends, maybe one of us can get the invite next year to her party.