St Barts to Sint Maarten/St Martin March 25th to 28th

March 25th we departed Low Bay, Barbuda at 5.20am, it was hard to wake up. We followed our track in, out and had no problems. Plus the full moon lit a path for us!

It was bumpy right from the start, a lot of wind chop and some quite big waves coming through. Robbie had the lures out virtually the whole trip. He caught a beautiful yellow fin tuna and as I was winding in the other rod (we have a real routine now, as soon as the rod goes off, Robbie runs for the rod, I run for the throttle, and throttle down to tick over, then I run and wind in the other rods while Robbie brings home the poor fish that was hooked) anyway, as I wound in the other rod there was a baby yellowfin tuna on the hook, too little to keep though.




Robbie was thrilled to catch the Yellow fin, although we were really hoping for a Mahi Mahi to top up the freezer again. We had one more hit, another Yellowfin which was also a good size to keep.

We approached St Barts around 3:00pm, Gustavia is the main port and entry point and there were a lot of boats on anchor, including some huge superyachts and cruise ships. Interestingly, one of the larger boats is the strange shaped “A”, that we last saw in Auckland NZ, the day we departed on our passage around NZ. It’s the strangest looking boat.









I was able to complete the check in process on the computer before we went to shore, so once we arrived it was a very quick process in the Captaineres office and the guy was very friendly and helpful. We went for a walk right around to the other side of the harbour. It was pretty quiet, all the boutique shops Dior, Cartier, Hermes were shut for Easter, what a shame!






We had one drink in a waterside bar and then made our way back to the boat, we were both pretty tired. The anchorage is very roly with quite a swell coming in. We have both our flopper stoppers out, and it does make a big difference. Some of the yachts are really rock and rolling!

 


March 26th We had a quiet morning completing a few jobs. We are going to move 2.5 miles around the corner to another Anchorage, Anse Columbia, we have heard from MV Moonrise it is a much better anchorage. We watched La’Dagio arrive after lunch, they had left Barbuda at 2am this morning. We went back into shore to check out, where we discovered you had to pay to anchor! This is a first! Robbie was quite amused that we had to pay to use our own anchor. I guess there’s a first for everything!

We found a small supermarket so stocked up on some fresh food and of course the French Baguettes which are so good! Laust and Monika arrived in their tender as we were leaving the dock, they are going to stay the night here with their guests and will join us tomorrow in Anse Columbia.

We upped anchor just after 12 and made the short trip around. It was choppy but not too bad. There were a few yachts on moorings and MV Moonrise was on anchor. We spoke to Martin on the VHF and he told us one of the yachts broke the mooring and drifted this morning, so we decided to anchor and not risk it. We are much heavier than most yachts and most moorings would not be sturdy enough for us.

It is still quite roly here the wind is gusting 20 knots, but it is a pretty bay with very clear water and lots of turtles swimming around.


We invited Martin and Bridgit over from Moonrise for a Nordhavn 47 Summit – this was Lausts wording, we would have called it a conference! We have not been anchored or berthed next to a boat the same as ours yet so it was really great to be able to chat and exchange stories. Laust and Monika came over for a visit in their tender and met Martin and Bridgit and stayed for a drink. They are friends on Facebook, but had never actually met. Laust and Monika left as they have guests on board and are all going out for dinner in Gustavia.

We had such a lot to talk about that at 6:30pm we decided to cook some Mahi Mahi in Panko breadcrumbs for dinner. Bridgit and Martin loved the Mahi Mahi and we had a great night.

 


March 27th Another beautiful morning, Robbie kayaked around the bay and I did some odd jobs. Robbie came back and started working on the duck, and next minute I heard the familiar call “JoJo”, so I went out to see what he needed and he was sitting down on the boat deck with blood pouring out of his head! He had a small but deep gash on the top of his head. He had the crane arm down quite low and had walked into it. Ouch!


La dagio arrived from around the corner in Gustavia and anchored, so there were 3 Nordhavns in a row. That’s a first for us! But, where is Starlet you may ask? They are off exploring Anguilla with their guest on board, Diane. What a shame they weren’t here with us!






We were of course also anchored near the huge superyacht “Limitless” owned by the multi Billionaire who owns Victoria Secret, amongst other companies. He is 78 and he goes for a spin in his wooden James Bond type every day with his 3 or 4 bodyguards accompanying him in another large duck.









Monika and Laust invited us all (Martin, Bridgit from Moonrise and us) over for drinks on La Dagio. Martin picked us up in their duck, which is a lot bigger than ours and we had a very enjoyable afternoon.

We headed back after the sun went down and I cooked Pork fillets for dinner.

 

March 28th We departed St Barts just after 9am for the 12 mile run to Sint Maarten/St Marten. This small island only 7 miles in each direction, is half French and half Dutch. The story goes that rather than fight over the island they each sent a man from each end of the island, one armed with a bottle of wine, and the other a flask of gin and where they met became the border. The French ended up with more land because the gin was stronger!

We arrived in Phillipsburg Bay just after 11am. This is the Capital of Sint Maarten (the Dutch side). It is very picturesque with a long white sandy beach across the bay. There are two large Cruise ship wharfs at the Eastern side of the bay and we are anchored near there, in absolutely crystal clear water.

La’Dagio arrived not long after us, and they decided to go and check out the small bay a bit further round, but they ended up coming back and anchoring near us. We had a swim and a bit of lunch on board and then we all went into town to complete our clearance in. Laust, Robbie and I walked about 2 miles around the harbour to the immigration offices while Monika did battle with all the cruise ship passengers to buy a sim card so they can have internet again. Eric and Linda, Lausts and Monika’s friends from Denmark went sunglass shopping and brought some lovely sunglasses and because they brought 2 pairs they were given a pair of Ray Bans free! I am really looking forward to hitting the shops here, they are all duty free on the island.




After our hot and dusty walk to the immigration a cold beer was in order and we all enjoyed a corona before heading back to the boats. In the meantime, Starlet had arrived and when we got back Jennifer and Diane were on board while Mark had made the trek to clear in. they came aboard Southern Star for a drink and Mark joined us on his return with a gift for Robbie! A six pack of teeny weeny Heinies! Robbie loves Heineken and Mark thought they were cute!







We decided to have a dinghy raft up for sundowners, something we have done a bit over our travels, sometimes it’s just too many people for one boat and we all sit in our own ducks with drinks and nibbles that we share and watch the sun go down. Whoever has the biggest tender drops their anchor – in this case it was Laust and then the others raft up.

We had a great time but after the sun went down it got a bit cold so we headed home. I cooked lamb chops with new potatoes and salad. We are trying to empty the freezer a bit. We had a sort out in there and the freezer downstairs is absolutely full. I think we have a hoarding tendency since travelling around the world and not being able to buy nice food sometimes so when we do find it we tend to go a bit “overboard”!!

Only 2 sleeps until Jessie arrives and the days are dragging now!!!

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