Sunday, May 28, 2006

Marigot , St. Martin to Nevis May 2006

Picture: Rob, Ross, Diane's Mom and Diane at the beach bar in Phillipsburg

We arrived in Marigot the holiday weekend celebrating the emancipation of the slaves. All the stores, and banks were closed. We knew we were going to be here for a few days, so that really didn’t matter. On Saturday, the market was also closed, and that was a little disappointing. They did have a celebration that evening, with live music and some of it was excellent, but no steel bands.
We are waiting in St. Martin until Wednesday, as that is when our Canadian friends, are arriving on a cruise ship in Phillipsburg. It will be good to see Rob and Dianne who are travelling with their family. Their children and ours are about the same age and many years ago when the kids were in elementary school we did a lot of things together, Tball, scouts, canoe camping etc. and we have remained friends since. They are also bringing a new AC adapter for our computer, to replace the one that went on the fritz a few weeks ago. (We have 2 identical used laptops so can swap out parts if required, so we still were up and running while we waited for the replacement to come. Getting one delivered from Canada seemed the easiest way, since we knew Rob and Dianne were coming).
The day they were to come in we went to Phillipsburg on the bus ($1.50 US each,one way). We had sent an email to meet us on the beach at a particular bar, one we had seen in a magazine picture so were confident was there, but had not received a confirmation. We hoped that they were getting our emails while they were on the ship. Ross waited at the selected spot while Bev walked around, hoping we would be able to find each other. There were two cruise boats in Phillipsburg that morning, and we had envisioned 5000 people streaming into Front Street and it being a zoo. Actually there were not many people around, and we were wondering where they were. But there they were sitting under the exact sign we had seen in the picture. No they hadn’t gotten our email, but thought that this was a good place to watch for us and it worked.
Their kids had gone their own way for the day. Rob and Dianne wanted to see some of St. Martin, not interested in jewellery shopping in Phillipsburg. We took them back on the bus to Marigot. As we left the bus, an open Jeep like automobile went by, and low and behold it was their kids. We went to the waterfront and had a great lunch in one of the small restaurants, catching up on old times. Then we sent the parents back on the bus (the Jeep wasn’t large enough and kids still wanted to do some beaching) to Phillipsburg. It was a great interruption to our cruising life, or a chance for someone else to see what we are really doing or not out here.
Having been a week in Marigot, it was definitely time to move on. But the winds continued to be SE and that was the direction we wanted to go, of course!! Where was the beam reach sailing we had been promised once we did the Anegada? We set out to go around the north end of St. Martin in order to get a little better angle on the winds, and make our way to Ile Fourche, a deserted islane north of St. Barts that we had great memories of from our trip in 1999. Once we rounded the north end of St Martin, we were able to make one long tack from Tintemarre to Table Rock, where we encountered a squall with 25knot winds. We shortened sail, started the motor and motor sailed the balance of the way into the anchorage, where we found mooring balls. We were still using our Doyle book from 1999, so were unaware of changes that had been made. We were informed that these balls were free, and no one did come out to collect. Although the island is posted, we did make our way up to see the view from the top, it was still fantastic, but the goats are gone.
We had hoped to sail directly from Ile Fourche to Guadaloupe but again the winds continued to blow SE, so we headed over to St. Kitts. The going was fine until we got in behind St. Kitts, and once again it was a tough motor tack into the SE winds. At the entrance to Basseterre, we encountered a sailboat with its boom on the deck, trying to tack into the anchorage with just its headsail. We asked him if he needed assistance, his engine had overheated, and his mainsail was ripped and yes he would love us to help out. We towed him into the anchorage off the marina.
Ross went quickly into the marina to make a call to friend that lives on St. Kitts. John had not been responding to our emails, and we figured he was not on the island, but since we were here, we would try one more time. We found John at home, and discovered at the same time that the marina only charged 50 cents a foot, free water and great showers. There was only one thing to do, pull up to the dock. We hadn’t been in a marina since Nassau, but here docking was quite easy.
We spend a couple of wonderful days touring St. Kitts, visiting with John and Karen, loving their home with the fabulous views over Frigate Bay. Ross even played golf on the Royal St. Kitts golf course, the longest course in the Caribbean. But time is ticking and it is time to move on.