Still in Marina Fort St Louis, Marigot, St Martin

Position           17:04.25N 63:05.30W

Date                1200 – 14 April 2011

 

John and Kate left us a week ago and we are still in the Marina working through what is now a much diminished list of maintenance jobs and repairs.  At the risk of being tedious but for the record we now have:

 

An engine that subject to sea testing, is running neither too hot or cold and complete with a new thermostat.

 

A generator that is behaving itself and cooling as it should.

 

A refrigerator pump that is running at the correct voltage and current and pumping the correct volume of water – the cure was a great product called Barnacle Buster that is pumped through the system putting the inlet and outlet hoses into a bucket of the solution so that it can circulate.  The flow when I started was but a dribble but after about 20 minutes there was a shudder and a great amount of  gunge shot out and normal flow was resumed.  Even better than rodding drains!

 

The anchor light is replaced, or it will be when Chris from Quicksilver returns to put the new bulb in – bless him he offered to scale the mast and check our VHF antenna and at the same time sorted out the anchor light.  Friends from other boats have been most generous with advice and assistance; it is a wonderful support co-operative.  It made for a good photo opportunity:

 

 

The VHF radio is now back working at full strength.  We have had poor performance since we arrived in the Caribbean.  In Martinique we fitted a new unit which seemed to improve matters for a time.  Fortunately there was no one here to sort the problem so I worked through the cable joins cleaning up the contacts. I also found a problem with the power input where the cable grip was into the insulation rather than the copper.  I am not sure which of these was the problem, possibly everything contributed.  Anyway, we now have a working VHF and I was able to speak to Rob from Let it Be who is in Road Bay, Anguilla 8nm away and with the island Anguilla in between.

 

The outstanding job is a replacement inverter which should arrive tomorrow or Monday.  For whatever reason the input circuit on the existing one has fried.  We have a good technician dealing with this and I have confidence that he will sort the problem when he has the replacement.

 

In the meantime the Caribbean Chapter of the Coggeshall Randonneurs had a Sunday ride, we waited at the clock tower at 1000 but nobody else turned up.  Elizabeth aid that I was not entirely truthful about what I had in mind; moi?  I definitely had a Florence moment claiming that it could not be far around the lagoon and it was flat.  Well it was and it isn’t.  20 miles, with some interesting hills on small wheels in 30 degrees plus.  We did stop at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club for refreshment and to watch the bridge open allowing boats into the Dutch side of the lagoon; we suspect that the clientele are not used to cyclists in lycra!

 

 

In addition we have walked around Marigot, the view from Fort St Louis

 

 

 

covers the whole lagoon.

 

 

I have cycled to Phillipsburg, hills – Randonneurs, think Capel Le Ferne or Drumnaf***it - in search of a parcel that the local post office decided not to deliver or tell anyone that it had arrived. 

 

This outing at least proved that visiting Phillipsburg was of limited appeal.  The beach is OK if you want sun loungers and crowds:

 

 

 

but the town is devoted to cruise ships with a vast collection of boutiques and duty free shops.  This shot says it all:

 

 

Our marina is a quiet haven compared with this; we will however be delighted to get out of it.

 

Various people have concluded that I am crazy to cycle here, certainly it is unusual.  There is so much traffic that nothing moves very quickly and we have cycled in worse places.

 

As a final picture, I rather liked this little chap: