From birthdays to St. Martin

Espen Aalstad
Sun 16 Mar 2008 21:25
18:01.3N 63:06.9W
Finally off from Antigua, but with mixed feelings leaving lot's of our friends from the ARC behind yet looking forward to picking up cousins in St. Martin.
Seven boats with kids have joined up to celebrate skipper Paul on Jigsaw's 50th birthday. 13 of the kids met already at a small marina in Marocco.
Elin especially has enjoyed meeting up again with 'the only teens' out cruising. All of us have schedules often affected by visitors and hence have not been able to join up as much as we want - or run into boat problems!
Einar's birthday a few day's earlier had been a quieter affair.
Strange how out at Great Bird Island pirates had left him a bottle with a map for a treasure. He strongly believes it was Jack Sparrow.
Everybody agreed staying with friends longer was worth a 100nm night sail to St. Martin even if the wind died down and we had to help with engine.
First impressions are that of a rather commercialized island for tourists - certainly our most touristy and developed resort areas we have seen since the Canary Islands. 
Philipsburg and Simpson Bay we are happy to leave quickly and so also their duty free and cigars especially.
Espen's niese and nephew from Norway has crewed on: we will see how Caribbean is different from sailing with Dad!  We will give them more real caribbean memories than the 'playstation' boat outside Simpson Bay. 27 degree water and swimming all day is still a great start to Easter vacation.