Superted V

Blog & Photos - March 2010

1st - 10th March was spent in St Martin.  St Martin is split between the French and the Dutch and very different in culture and costs.  Most of the marine industry is centered around the lagoon on the Dutch side.  We had gone through the bridge (at great expense) on the Dutch side as we needed to have work done on the main furler at FKG who are based there.  Being on the Dutch side of Sint Maarten in the lagoon cost 40 US$ per week.   We spent most of this time on the jetty at FKG whilst they worked on the furler (and did an excellent job).  We try to spend as little time as possible in marinas and I was reminded of why that is (besides cost) - no cooling breeze, a plethora of mosquitoes and no swimming!  We were so pleased to get the work done and get off the dock and back at anchor - even in the lagoon.  The saving grace whilst being on the dock was that Neil & Tracy on Adonde were in the lagoon so we spent a few 'Happy Hours'  with them and Rich & Jan on Scorpio when they were around.  They also helped Matt celebrate his 2nd 'livaboard' birthday.  I also got a shopping fix - the shops on the French side are fabulous - a rare treat!

11th March - Checked out of the Dutch side and into the French side (an invisible line marks the border between the Dutch side and the French sides of the lagoon but its free on the French side - good old socialists! As with most of the other Caribbean islands, St Martin has had a chequered past but unlike the other islands, as the story goes, rather than fight over it , they had a Frenchman armed with a bottle of wine walk in one direction and a Dutchman with a flask of gin walk in the other.  Where they met up became the border  but the French ended up with a bit more land because the gin was stronger than the wine!

15th March - Out through the bridge and into one of the many lovely bays (Marigot) around St Martin - good to be able to swim again in clear, clean water.  Spent a couple of days in Grand Case, Anse Marcel trying out the dive sites. 

18th March - Across to Tintamarre - an idyllic island off St Martin with pristine white beaches and gin clear turquoise water. 

20th - 22nd March - Despite having said cheerio for the umpteenth time with a view to meeting up in Trinidad later in the year, the Scorpions re-appeared so we spent a few days together around the bays of St Martin and Ile Fourchoe diving, snorkelling and generally chilling. 

22nd to 25th - Finally got to visit St Barthelemy (St Barths) - we've always sailed past this island - a haven for the very rich and chic French  - but it was well worth the visit.  Most of the island and off lying islands are part of a marine park and it really is very well looked after.  We were anchored in crystal clear waters watching beautiful green turtles who nonchalantly swam around the boats.  Snorkelling and diving was a real treat with sightings of elegant eagle rays and nurse sharks as well of hundreds of reef fish.  The capital Gustavia was also pristine with clean, colourful streets and buildings.  Whilst we were there, preparations for the 'Bucket Cup' were going on with more superyachts arriving than you could shake a stick at! 

25th March - had a good sail down to Guadeloupe and spent a few days at Des Haies before heading down the island only to discover on the way that we might have water in the diesel.  A 40 mile beat later we were in the Route de Rhum destination of Point A Pitre where they say that you can get anything done on a boat.  It's a bit like coming up Southampton water and there's even a Red Jet ferry! 

31st March - As I write this we are at anchor with the engine stripped down and Matt and Fred (pronounced with a French accent) of Fred Marine working away at various bits.  Boats eh - who'd live on one!!  

April 2010.......






16.12.50N   61.31.90W