Eleven years later I finally return to the très chic French island of Saint-Barthélemy—St. Barth. The first trip, a sailing celebration for New Year’s Eve introduced me to the fact that I was not destined to become a worldly sailor. In 2004, my husband and I sailed from St. Martin to St. Barth in 10ft swells (I gripped any protruding handle that I could find on the 55ft sloop and held on dearly at a 45-degree angle), and I arrived at Gustavia dock a perfect shade of green, our captain, however, looked like a happy present-day pirate. I decided that the next trip to St. Barth I would keep my feet firmly on the ground. So this January started with a winter getaway to the Caribbean sans a sailing yacht.
The fifteen-minute flight from St. Martin’s Princess Juliana Airport to St Barth, via Windward Island Airways, (WinAir) provides an exhilarating landing, not for the faint-hearted. Once I recovered from the Twin Otter’s dramatic descent, I remembered that the less than 10-mile square island is super-small, and small cars make the best transportation—the Mini Cooper convertible we rented was a perfect island shade of pale blue.