Fwd: March 4 2015, St Marteen, 18.01.97N 63.05.90W
Sun 8 Mar 2015 22:18
> Charlestown was actually a very satisfactory place to pause on our way north and to sort out the engine problem. This turned out to be a broken water pump impeller which scattered bits of itself all around the engine, comprehensively blocking the water cooling system. The buoys laid out along the beach appear to be satisfactorily maintained and provided a safe mooring even in the occasional 30knot gusts we were subjected to. Plus, because of the relatively short fetch and the very attractive surroundings, it provided much better shelter than the charts would suggest. We did try going to White House Bay in St Kitts for the Skipper's birthday. This looks more sheltered but is not and you are no longer allowed to land on the dinghy dock at the head of the bay unless you are going to drink or eat at the Christopher Harbour bars or restaurant. The snorkelling is not much cop either, so we went back to Charlestown and celebrated the Skipper's birthday with a very good supper at Limes, Sunshine's being unavailable because of a private party.
> March 4 is an early start for another long day's sail to St Marteen, with nice sheltered waters down the leeward side of St Kitts and then all hell letting loose through the St Kitts/St Eustatius channel. Once we cleared the land, we had a cracking good sail to St Marteen, with winds again gusting 25-28 knots regularly and up to 37 knots on occasions. There is a high pressure system in the Atlantic giving us these winds which looks well established and at least the winds are coming from a good direction for heading north. However, nights are noisy and a bit bumpy, as is the case with the anchorage in Simpson Bay, but the anchor seems well dug in and we arrive in time to clear customs and do some exploring. There are a huge number of very expensive yachts in the lagoon, which is accessed via a lifting bridge, giving much entertainment at end of racing rush hour. There are a lot of racing boats as well as super yachts, as it is the start of the St Marteen Heineken Regatta.
> No photographs on blogs until we have sorted the Digicell phone or go to a Marina, neither likely at the moment!
> Sent from my iPad