Stargazer - Boarded by Coastguard
We had a very slow sail to St Barts from Barbuda, we arrived in St Barts at about 10pm on the last night of the St Barts Superyacht Regatta and had to find a place to anchor – the amount of lights from all the large yachts made the place look like a powerstation, but we managed to find a spot just outside the channel to anchor for the night then off after breakfast next day to go to St Martin where our engine gets its first service and we can replace a couple of items we need – such as our cabin fan that died and we cannot live without when it is hot.
So we’re now anchored in Simpson Bay on the outside of the lagoon swing bridge (next to the New Zealanders who we met in St Lucia, then in Antigua). We cleared in the morning we arrived then have been running back and forth into the lagoon to stock up on supplies and get some bits and pieces sorted on the boat. After clearing in I kept seeing our ‘Q’ flag flying (meaning we haven’t cleared in) and meaning to take it down . . . . and forgot for another day. It proved to be like a lure to the Dutch Coastguard here and yesterday we had the big rib full of about 10 of them draw alongside (I think they must send people on secondment here from the Netherlands as there are just too many coastguard and too many coastguard boats here to warrant it for such a small island).
Anyway – at the time Adam had the boat in bits downstairs as he was trying to fit a battery management device so it was chaos – covers off everything, contents of the ‘storeroom’ in the back spread over most of the boat. I had just been to the supermarket so there were bags of shopping in the cockpit waiting to come in. . then we had to also accommodate 2 coastguard, one spent an age checking our clearances and papers and asking me the same questions multiple times in a different order, the other checked the lockers, under one bed, the fridge, bin and our flares – then I think the sheer mess was too much for him to bother doing any more and every locker he opened was rammed full of stuff which he didn’t bother poking through too much (the only thing he did get excited over was in the large back locker there is a black sack tied up – ‘aaaah, so what is in the black sack?’ (I suppose black bin liners are the traditional storage choice for people hiding bits of bodies and drugs stashes). So after 20 mins or so they disappeared off again. We did see them later on after dark giving a dingy a roasting for not having any lights on (they had nearly just hit it as they approached the harbour very fast).
We gave my mother the task of sorting out the flags when she was here – obviously this has just made me lazy!