It’s easier to understand St. Bart’s if you start by quarantining some of your thoughts. So for now, forget about the fiscal cliff, forget about the unemployment situation and record food stamp participation in the US. Forget about austerity in Europe, riots in Greece and Spain, and insolvency across the West. Forget also about poverty in Africa, hunger and food price inflation and the like. None of these thoughts will help you understand St. Bart’s, so suspend them for just a moment.
Now imagine a place where money and resources are infinite… a place where everybody who wants a mega yacht can have one. A place where a $10 million New Years party for your closest 400 friends is an annual routine. A place where the corner market stocks its shelves with $300 bottles of vodka like they’re cans of baked beans. Now imagine that place really does exist on the western side of a tiny Caribbean island called St. Barthelemy. You’re now close to understanding the surreal place we’re anchored just outside Gustavia marina amidst a sea of boats that makes St. Tropez look like a place for novice millionaires.
So here we are celebrating New Years alongside the world’s richest and most famous in an environment that really should only exist in an imaginary world. And although we’re more disgusted than impressed by wasteful displays of excess like Roman Abramovich’s billion dollar mega yacht, “Eclipse”, anchored just a few hundred yards off our stern, we had no problem quarantining those thoughts last night as we headed off in the dinghy to get our night started, already very cheerful on our $9 bottle of vodka. But as we sat on the marina wall a few hours later when the clock struck midnight, and as the New Year fireworks lit up the bay overflowing with mega yachts, and as the captains all blasted their horns to ring in 2013, and as the world’s elite popped open new bottles of Dom from their top decks just yards away, we realized something – in a place like St. Bart’s we’re perfectly happy to be spectators watching from the sidelines.
We’re now pulling the anchor to head north 20 miles towards another French Island, St. Martin. We’re expecting a return of something resembling reality there, but with the stream of megayachts now leaving St Barts and pointing in that same direction, we’re not quite sure.
From our imaginary world in St. Barts,, we wish a very happy and healthy New Year to our friends around the world! Cheers, Salute, Noroc, Nastarovia, Cin Cin, and Prost!!