Riding the swell toward Anguilla

Espen Aalstad
Mon 24 Mar 2008 15:57
Tintamarre 18:07.1N 62:59.6
Finally, the sea conditions are more favorable and we can head north toward Anguilla.  The swell is still significant enough for us to roll like mid Atlantic.
We try - and have to pass - peaceful  Ile de Fouchur with its nice snorkling. The swell makes the water merky close to shore.  We instead roll on and motorsaill along the west coast of St. Martin surfing into Orient Bay. The Doyle pilot says to turn around if you have less than 28 feet under keel, and 6 kids track the depth and scream when we go below! We continue as turning is not an option in the surf. A nervous few seconds and then it gets deeper!
We tuck in behind Ile Pinel, a Robinson Crusoe island according to our pilot.  Instead, we find hundreds of day tourists, and one of our most tricky anchorages. Yet, between reefs and a few boats in heavy wind, Espen is as calm as always.  He enjoys this!

Small Tintamarre the next day is finally a glorious day for our visitors.
Snorkling behind a horseshoe reef : the water is not clear yet from the swell. Atlantic trades is blowing frisk: where is the calmer period usually starting in March?
We also find a special and free island 'spa' for skin treatment: supposedly old dinasaur droppings. The skin really does get soft from this special poo.
A wonderful downwind sail to Anguilla. Regina's first since the Atlantic! While Regi makes pizza, the gas run out...but Elin is by now a safe skipper too.