Friday, March 29, 2013

St Barth and St Martin/St Maarten

We had a great Sail from Barbuda to St Barth. We left at 4 am and arrived in less then 10 hours in St Barth. This is about 70 miles. St Barth is a very upmarket island. There are hardly any black people and it is mostly designer shops and cute boutiques with it being French. Gustavia is the capital and the bay is full of boats.
We spend a few days there enjoying the free showers and visiting shell beach and gourmet shops. There were huge waves so the sleeping was not altogether comfortable. We went around to the north of the island in a bay with free moorings. Here we were called by another boat to ask if we wanted fish. They gave us 2 big bags with Mahi Mahi or dolphin fish. All beautifully filleted into thick steaks. Wonderful. After 2 nights we sailed to St Maarten. We had to wait for the bridge to open for us to be able to go into the lagoon. There we finally met up with our friends from Me Gusta (Rick and Miriam ) and Nenufar (Claude and CĂ©line).
Rick had his brother visiting who had hired a car. St Maarten is divided with a French side and a Dutch side St Martin and St Maarten. And the story goes......
The French and the Dutch were very amicable. So when it came to dividing the island a Frenchman started walking one way with a bottle of wine and the Dutchman walked the other way with a bottle of gin. Where they would meet would be the border. So the Frenchman drinking wine got further then the gin drinking Dutchman and the French part is bigger. There has never been a problem between them here. It is in the Dutch town Pilipsburg that the cruise ships come.
Our friends left to sail to the Virgin Islands and we were leaving about a week later for an overnight sail. We ran around still doing all kinds of things and rushing together the last opening when we realised we had not cleared customs. So now we are waiting till Easter Saturday night to go to get the good winds. The great thing about this is that our Dutch friends Marlene and Loud on Rafiki are here as well and we get to see more of them. We keep meeting them but always for a short time.
Yesterday 28 was our wedding anniversary so we got dressed up to go to the shore for dinner. Rocky spotted a boat that had run aground so we headed over to help. Three of us went aboard to hang on one side to tilt it over. They pulled a halyard with a dinghy and later followed my suggestion of all things to pull the boom to the side as well. We did get the boat moving and sailed into the marina. The owner got wine out and we shared their dinner. With 4 extra that was not enough so Rocky bought 3 pizzas. We had a lovely time with them and never got to eat in the restaurant.

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