In the Caribbean
Sat 26 Feb 2011 23:41
After arriving in St. Martin (or rather Sint Maarten, since it was on the south (Dutch) side of the island), I anchored in the Simpson Bay and called Henk on the VHF. The anchor didn't hold, and as I lifted it up to try a second time Henk was already coming out through the bridge. The bridge is of the lifting type and opens for boats two times a day. We hurried up to get into the Lagoon before it closed again. Actually we were 10 Minutes late, but I had called the bridge on Channel 12 and the guy was so kind to wait for us. He wasn't happy, but he waited. Cool.
Then we anchored in the Lagoon, also on the dutch side where the water is deeper. Not really that deep. I have a draft of 2.50m, and the water below my keel is 2.80. Not much left to spare, huh. Then we did the maneuver again because the anchor didn't hold again. Then we celebrated my arrival with a beer, before heading to the shore with Henk's dinghy to check me in.
Checking in was surprisingly fast and painless. And a little funny. The girl at immigration asked me to please specify all crew members on the immigration and not just myself. I said I was alone. "What, you came all the way from spain alone? Are you crazy?". Maybe a little.
We also reserved a place in the Simpson Bay Marina for the time when I'll fly home to Germany to pick up Liz. Until then I'll stay here at anchor and do my repairs. There's a lot to do. At Budget Marine I picked up a new regulator for the solar panel and looked at Dinghies. You have to have a Dinghy in the Caribbean, or you're socially below the horizon because you can't go anywhere and don't meet anybody.
Then we went back to Gudrun, hoping that the anchor had held this time. It had. Now I'm getting ready to sleep because I'm really tired. I just hope the planes don't fly all night. They pass directly over my boat when they lift off the airport. And I was wondering why there are relatively few boats here, hehe :-).
But before I go to bed I have to savor that thought: I am in the Caribbean. Came here on my own in the boat that I've rebuilt from keel up for the last seven months. Isn't that just soooo cool?