St Martin

Phil May and Andrea Twigg
Fri 11 Jul 2014 14:01
18:03.9N 63:05.5W
St Martin is half French and half Dutch, amicably split down the middle in 1648.  The legend has it that, wishing to avoid a war, a Frenchman was sent to walk south, drinking wine, and a Dutchman to walk north, drinking gin.  The boundary was set where they met.  I am not convinced of this story because (a) it is unlikely they would ever have met up and (b) if they had then most likely it would have started a war anyway.
Marigot Bay is a huge bay with a large anchorage area.  With a wide open north-westerly facing entrance it looks like it might be swelly, but we found it quite calm in the summer easterlies. 
The island is a major tourist destination, but nothing particularly “must see” so we didn’t go exploring.  We stayed for three days, just doing chores.  The main advantage for cruisers is that there is no import duty, and good international connections, which means that boat parts are in good supply and reasonably priced.  We restocked on filters, and I got a good engine start battery to replace the failing one on the port side.  Also the supermarket is well stocked and easily accessible by dinghy.
Our port bilge alarm went off while anchored in Marigot Bay.  The engine room was flooding with water while the generator was running (once again the bilge alarm saves us from serious water damage).  Seawater had rotted through a stainless steel elbow in the wet exhaust system.  Budget Marine were able to supply a corrosion resistant fibreglass replacement for me the same afternoon.
Marigot Bay is a huge anchorage.  This is a small section of the coastline.
The rotten elbow just fell apart when I poked it.  Why would they use steel to try and channel hot salt water?