March 29th to April 7th St Maarten to St John US Virgin Islands

 March 30th Jessie is flying in around lunch time so we did a few chores and then went in the duck to pick her up. It was really choppy and I copped a wave and got soaked! It was difficult to find a dinghy dock near the airport, but we found a sort of dinghy dock tied up to an old ship painted pink, called the Pink Iguana. It’s a bar and the young bar staff were so helpful, the young lad took our rubbish for us, helped us off and was super friendly. We had a quick drink. We met Jess and then went back to the Pink Iguana and had another drink, the young bar tender showed us his juggling skills. They had both just completed their bar course.

We headed back to Southern Star and settled Jess in. We also had to dry her bag out as it got wet on the ride home.

We went over to the chandlery and brought some stuff, Martin let us use his discount card, we met up with Laust and Monica also so went for drinks at the yacht club. We then headed over to Starlet for a game of 500. We agreed to go for breakfast the next morning over at Marigot Bay where the nice French bakeries are.

 March 31st As we were heading off for breakfast we received a message that Robbies Mum was in hospital. We decided to go for a quick breakfast and then come back and ring Australia. Well we thought Mark and Jennifer knew how to get there, but they didn’t and nor did we. After 45 minutes riding around and we couldn’t find the place we ended up going back to Southern Star as we wanted to ring and see how Robbie’s Mum was. I cooked us some breakfast while Robbie did that. As we got back to Southern Star there was a yacht aground right in front of Southern Star. We helped to town them off which was no easy feat.

Robbie looked up where to go to find the others and we made our way over there only a couple of hours late! It was worth it, the pastries were to die for! We farewelled Monica and Laust, we are not sure whether or not we will see them again, but hopefully we will. Again, we have met some lovely people who we just seem to click with.

 



 Later that afternoon Jess and I went shopping with Jennifer in Phillipsburg Jennifer got a new diamond put in her ring and it is stunning. I got some diamond earrings.



April 1st
We hired car, and went and did the grocery shopping with Jennifer also. It was a good supermarket and we did a big stock up. They match 1 euro for 1 US $ which is very good value.










April 2nd
Today we did an Island tour with mark and Jennifer, and of course Jessie. First stop was Maho Beach, where the planes come in very low over a lovely white sandy beach and everyone stands there and takes photos. The big jets air stream can blow you in to the water and the signs warn you it can cause death.




 




We made our way right around the island, stopping at the famous nude beach, Orient bay where we had a lovely lunch

 







 April 3rd While Robbie took the rental car back Jessie and I took the duck and cleared out at the customs office, which is right in the channel where the bridge is. Of course while we were there the bridge opened and a heap of boats came through. Poor Jess had stayed in the duck to look after it, and just as well she did, as a boat went through quite fast and the swell pushed the duck up under the dinghy dock. There were two very nice timber tenders off a huge super yacht there and the young crews had left them and were standing around talking. Both boats were damaged.

We then went and picked up Robbie and got back to Southern Star and prepared to leave. We only took a couple of hours to get around to Marigot Bay, just on the other side of the island. It is so much nicer there and the water is crystal clear.

We all had a lovely swim.


April 4th Robbie dropped Jessie and me into town to go shopping, while he pulled the outboard engine apart. There is a flat spot and it is driving him nuts. Unfortunately by the time we realised all the shops were shut, he already had the engine apart. We had to wait for a couple of hours but that was OK. He got it going again and picked us up. We had a quiet night.

April 5th We took the duck over to the lagoon side and while I got a haircut Jessie and Robbie filled up the petrol containers for the duck and then we all had lunch in a very nice restaurant in the marina. We went for a walk up to Fort Louis, what magnificent views all over the bay.


We went and saw Martin & Bridget and said goodbye, had a quick swim and then left for St Croix (can you spot the two Nordhavns anchored amongst all the sail yachts?)



April 6th: We had a perfect overnight passage, Robbie and I did the watches and Jessie tried to sleep on the pilothouse bed, we gave her a rain check on watch! The rods went off twice and both times Jessie managed to catch a Barracuda. They are ugly with big teeth and we don’t keep them. In Australia and NZ they are usually full of worms. We arrived in Christiansted around lunchtime. We made the decision to go in the marina which ended up being a bad choice. There was a bad surge and swell and all the boats were moving a lot. The fenders and ropes were groaning and making a horrible noise. After sorting out the boat as best as we could, we walked in and checked in at the marina office. The marina is a bit basic and at $1.50 per foot, it’s not cheap – for what it is. *1360There are old rickety wooden docks and gravel, but the staff were very friendly and helpful. The marina office is also a very well stocked chandlery and Robbie managed to find a few bits and pieces. We walked over to clear in at customs and immigration, the gate guard told us they were “out to lunch” and come back after 1.00pm, so we went across the road to the “No Bones restaurant” It was very nice, and very American. Huge serves, cheap and bottomless soft drinks. We then went back to customs and immigration. They were not real friendly, the lady said why did you take so long to check in, I told her the gate guard said you were out to lunch, and she said, “Well I was here”!! She was not welcoming and made us feel like it was going to be a problem. She processed our paper work and then said the immigration officer has to come over from the airport please wait. Well it only took 10 minutes and talk about chalk and cheese, the immigration officer was a young lady and so friendly and smiling, the total opposite to the other two. They were talking to her quite sternly and obviously telling her she had to ask us some questions and they had quite a debate about it in their local language which we couldn’t understand. They speak about 6 languages here ranging from English, Spanish, Creole, Danish, Cruzan and not sure what else. Anyway she processed us all very efficiently and kindly with no problem. Robbie and I actually have a 10 year USA Visa each, and Jessie has a 90 day ESTA Visa so we were well prepared.





We then took the duck into town, walked around town, Jessie did a bit of shopping, we saw all the old buildings had a couple of drinks in a beach bar which was great people watching.







The big tarpon were hanging around the dock near the restaurant, and were being fed all the scraps. They were very big, very docile and happy!

We headed back to the boat and I cooked a chicken curry and we watched the movie Titanic (this was inspired by the Titanic photos and the first class menu for the 14th April 1914, at the No Bones restaurant) so it’s nearly 102 years since the sinking! Just to be in the spirit, we drank Caribbean rum while we watched the movie.

April 7th: Oh Oh, slept in until 8.45am eek – but first the rum kicked in and I slept, then the bad dock noises woke me up and kept me awake for some hours, then slept until 8.45am. We did have plans that we were going to take the duck to Buck Island and snorkel but Robbie let us sleep instead. At 10am we departed St Croix for St Johns, another US Virgin Island. As we departed out of the buoyed channel we got a visit from the US Coast Guard. They first hailed us on channel 16 on the VHF and asked someone to come down the back of the boat for a chat. Robbie asked did they want to board us and they replied no, we would like a chat. It sounded a bit ominous, but Robbie designated me to go down and they were real friendly, wanted to know where we were going and where had we come from. They asked us to let them know if we saw anything “untoward out there”, I said yes of course, and is it dangerous? No he replied, you will love St Johns its very nice. We had just read that a boat was boarded by “pirates” off of St Croix and a guy was shot just a few weeks ago. We were impressed that they made contact and were so friendly. Big shout out to Coast Guard St Croix!!

It was about 15 knots of wind but against us so it was not the most pleasant passage but it was OK, a bit lumpy and lots of white caps. We didn’t do too much apart from make lunch and just sit. Jessie stayed in the fly bridge the whole time, she wasn’t sea sick but she didn’t want to risk it so she just stayed put.

We arrived into Great Lameshur Bay on St Johns at 4pm. Wow, very nice crystal clear water, turtles popping up and only 3 other boats on moorings. There are about 8 moorings and they are all marked for certain sizes of boats. We are on are <60’ and there are also 61’ to 100’ moorings.

Jessie and I had a snorkel over to the reef on the East side of the bay, it was not spectacular but we saw a number of fish including a Lion Fish.

Jessie cooked dinner for us and we had another quiet night.

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