Preparation in Sint Maartin
Well we've been a week in Sint Maartin and we have been very busy! It always seems to take longer than you expect to get everything ready for a voyage.
The dingy has been repaired by Adam and is now watertight once more.
We've done several trips to the supermarket and (we hope) we have food for about 6 weeks on the boat, at least stocking here is easier than the Canaries and the variety of food is much better so we are able to have some different meals on our trip - food is being ferreted away everywhere and I am having to keep a list of where things went so we can find them again! - all pretty much done apart from dairy and fruit/veg which we will get on the day before we leave. Under the spare bed is full, bottoms of the wardrobes, boxes on the other spare cabin etc - we counted 108 tins of 'stuff' - tomatoes, various beans, veggies, potatoes, 18 litres of fruit juice, 18 litres of milk. . . . importantly - 8 cake and muffin mixes! I won't go on through the whole list. . .
The Genoa has been repaired - 2 caribbean seasons had pretty much destroyed some of the stitching on the UV strip that protects the sail, we also dug out the storm jib just in case and have given that a clean and oiled all the clips for banking it on. We are looking like a 'cruising boat' with 8 jerry cans strapped to the deck to extend our fuel tanks. Getting Gas fills took the best part of a morning - amazingly there is only one shop on the entire island that refills the French Gaz bottles that we have (even on the French side!) so we had to dingy all the way across the Lagoon to the French side to walk to the shop - they had 2 bottles left which was luckily what we were after. If they didn't have any then our only option would have been to go to St Barts for fills (not as bad as it sounds - it's only about 15 miles away).
At least laundry is cheap here - we've done 2 trips, just one left to go so we can get all the bedding/towels/cushions and everything washed. We have had to dig out our Duvet which has spent 2 years in a vacuum bag under the forepeak bed - amazingly the Duvet was dry and fine and just needed an afternoon airing in the sunshine - seems strange digging out the duvet here where it is at least 35 degrees every day - but by the time we get to the same latitude as the azores we may be needing it again.
We did have a 'swim' the other day - our duogen managed to catch Adam's glasses when he was taking it down - plop, they went straight overboard. At least here the water is only about 5 metres deep so both of us snorkelling next morning managed to find them within about 10 minutes - why do Barracuda like our boat? - when we were looking another 3ft Barracuda was hanging about under Stargazer and following us about.
Moved into the Marina today so we can fill up tanks and give the boat a wash down, also spoke to Stokey regarding weather and, currently - leaving day is Saturday 19th provided the wind stays in the South East so fingers crossed. . .
Here's a pic from Stargazer this morning approaching the opening bridge that lets you into the lagoon which is where all the Marina's are. . . .