The countdown to 2013 began in St. Barts several days ago, when the gilded swans of the sea began gliding in, anchoring in the azure waters of Gustavia Bay.
On the eve of New Year's Eve, the local yacht registry recorded 130 vessels, 17 of those in the super-yacht category (measuring 200 feet or more in length). And a handful of Texans were floating along with the best of them.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones anchored in aboard the 290-foot Nirvana (for sale for $300 million and change), his arrival later than most due to the Sunday night Cowboys game against the Redskins. The tariff for a week on that floating behemoth will set you back a cool 1 million euro.
Jerry Jones anchored in aboard the 290-foot Nirvana (for sale for $300 million and change), his arrival later than most due to the Sunday night Cowboys game against the Redskins.
Anchored in the midst of this luxury flotilla was the Lady Sheridan, the swank, 190-foot yacht belonging to Sheridan and John Eddie Williams, Texas tobacco attorney. Plains Exploration CEO Jim Flores, wife Cherie and their children spent the holiday aboard one of the sleek charters, while Dallas automobile mogul Ken Schnitzer, his family and a few Texas friends sailed in on another.
The show dog in this exclusive fraternity of the super rich was Eclipse, the 538-foot monster owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. The world's largest private yacht and its owner were the focus of the paparazzi who invaded for the holidays, hoping to capture his image as well as that of other stars that dropped in for his legendary New Year's Eve bash.
In recent years, Abramovich has brought in entertainment, including Beyoncé and Jay Z, Gwen Stefani, Kanye West and the Black Eyed Peas. This year, the Kings of Leon were in St. Barts to headline the energy czar's party, considered the hottest New Year's Eve ticket on the planet. Only 400 of the super celebs, trust fund babies and business moguls anchoring across St. Barts were invited, and security was tight, tight, tight.
Nothing was too extravagant for this crowd. One yacht owner had the chef from Nirvana bring in fresh truffles from Europe. On the Maltese Falcon, a 289-foot sailing yacht, a lower sail was raised Sunday night for a giant-sized airing of the Cowboys game, giving the appearance of a drive-in movie.
While their captains kept a lid on who chartered which boat, you can bet that there were superstars bunking in the super-yachts. Among the 17 biggies at anchor were Tatoosh, Microsoft mogul Paul Allen's 271-foot playpen; the 313-foot Limitless, owned by The Limited founder Leslie Wexler; and business magnate Ron Perelman's 261-foot C2.