There was an easterly wind but still we managed to sail all the way from Norman Island in the BVIs to Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten. The Simpson Bay anchorage is a bit rolly at times, but for $42 you can pass through the bridge into the inner lagoon where it is flat calm, although still with a reasonable breeze for keeping cool. (We opted to just stay in the anchorage outside.)
St Martin has good shopping facilities, plus big Budget Marine and Island Water World stores, both right next to the lagoon. You can rent a box for a week from the Scarlet WiMax shop to get unlimited high speed internet. There are two big bookswaps near the anchorage, which Andrea was pleased about.
Our washing machine was broken and we thought we could get a new one here, but it turns out that St Maarten runs on 220V, 60Hz (European voltage but US frequency). As cruisers quickly learn, washing machines tend to break down if run on the wrong frequency, despite what the salesman might assure you.
The wind was a bit north of east at the outset with a friendly squall giving us a lift half way, then it veered throughout the night
A spotted eagle ray came by looking to be fed, while we were snorkelling at the entrance to Simpson Bay