Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Outfitting and repairs in St Martin

On 31May we sailed out behind the mass of Antiguan sailing boats and made the short sail to French St Martin, Marigot Bay. We cleared in and then returned to the boat for a grilled pork dinner and I finished scraping the last of the Puerto Rican Barnacles from the bottom of the hull. On 01Jun, first day of the Hurricane season, we motored through the drawbridge into the large lagoon. In the winter months this lagoon is packed with sailboats and megayachts of every sort, but now the majority have headed north or south out of the tropical storm belt. I’ll be south of it soon enough. For now the priority is getting my boat running nicely again. I bounced between the Dutch and French side of the island, getting various work done. I had the roller furling jib repaired and I had a stainless steel pole fabricated to hold the wind generator, my two most expensive jobs done here. I also got a great deal on a small outboard engine for the dinghy, a luxury after 3 months of rowing everywhere. And there were various other minor projects and needed items that were bought. Because of the large boating market here, St Martin’s boating chandleries can provide about the same prices you find in the US.

We spent this weekend at Orient Bay on the NE side of the island, where we caught a nice tuna (again bit in half by a shark or barracuda) as we sailed in to the anchorage. We had a nice relaxing time there, and discovered that the nearby beach was a nude beach.

I motored Alexandra into the Marigot bay marina for last night to use the electrical power for my drill. I have to drill holes in the deck (a Captain never likes drilling holes in his boat) to install the pole for the wind generator. We’ll be heading for Nevis Island early tomorrow morning, 60nm south, then on to Guadeloupe. Guadeloupe is supposed to have some really interesting hikes featuring volcanic activity and a "boiling lake". I'll be sure to take good photos. At the marina, I was approached by a British bloke named Andrew. He requested to crew for me down to Guadaloupe, as he is trying to make his way south as well. I agreed after talking with him a little and informing him he would have to cover his own grocery costs. It should be nice to have some more company on the boat, and if it works out well, I can always help him out by taking him further on towards his destination, Brazil. Handy with electrical work, he's already helped fix a couple buttons and wire the new wind gen.

This photo is from the fort here, then a couple of the sailing race on Antigua, I forgot to take the rest off my camera, so I'll have to post later. Oh, I do have this proposal for a t-shirt also, it's a bit expensive to have them made, but I'm still thinking about it. I did the drawing on the back just with pen and paper. I'd really like to have them. The cost was around $9.10 per shirt for 50. Think I should do it?

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