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Date: 19 Apr 2007 23:54:14
Title: St Martin & Anguilla

Dear Friends                                   "18:04.16N 63:06.75W"
 
Sorry we're a bit late with the blog this week - we've just been busy having fun - again!
 
We visited (Dutch side) Sint Maarten where yachts moor inside a large lagoon at Simpson Bay. Three times a day the road bridge opens for boats to get into the lagoon which provides plenty of anchoring space inside, completely sheltered from ocean swells, though the area inside is a little like Piccadilly Circus with tenders racing round the whole time.
 
Sint Maarten is a bit like Las Vegas on sea - it looks like a product of rampant uncontrolled development in recent years. It does however have great shopping and we stocked up at a good supermarket when we drove round the island in a rental car. Sint Maarten is of course duty free and has great chandleries too. Quite how we managed to buy so much stuff is a slight mystery. Michael won (or thinks he did) the argument for a couple more solar panels to mount aft of the existing arch on top of the davits; we bought some more mooring warps as you can never have too much line on a boat and numerous other odds and ends.
 
At last we have repaired the bowthruster properly - increasing cable size to 100 mm and halving the cable runs. Sadly the nameless company in the Solent who sold us the boat seemed to have no one with even a basic knowledge of DC electrics - rather a worry for a boat business eh? Certainly they didn't have a clue about the relationship between cable size, length of run and voltage drop. Anyway, all working fine now after we rewired the whole system ourselves.
 
Marco seemed to know half the yacht crew in Simpson Bay marina where we stayed for a few nights. There are very many bars and restaurants, a lot of which seem to stay open most of the night. We are able to report on a purely factual basis that the latest time he returned to the yacht was 0400 after a quiet night out with friends... Hence the dark glasses in the photo here, celebrating the capture of dinner when we were out at sea again.
 
 
The trip to Anguilla was short and sweet, though a bit more wind would have been even nicer. Anguilla has decided to impose simply huge cruising charges if you anchor anywhere outside Road Bay where you check in. So we stayed for a couple of nights and took a rental car round the island for a few hours. Anguilla is of course British. It has fantastic beaches with pure white sand and turquoise clear seas ....
 
 
Doesn't that look amazing ?
 
The development - mostly in the last 10 years we guess, is at the upper end of the market, with various resorts around the W end of the island. Michael won the bet on how much it cost to stay at Covecastles (try Google) a landmark resort on the SW tip. He guessed $2k a night, which was the closest guess !!!
 
We had a stimulating sail back to (French side) St Martin where we are now awaiting delivery of the additional anchor we have ordered on Dutch side.The wind is rather oddly coming from the south, but as we're in a sheltered bay on the N side, that just keeps the windmills turning and the beer cool.
 
 
And finally - Blue Sky was 2 yesterday. The birthday was duly celebrated with champagne as we reflected on the first 11,070 miles and wondered where on earth we will get to in the next 2 years.
 
Best Wishes
 
George and Michael
 

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