St Martin & St Maarten
Apologies for the delayed blog.
We are still anchored in Marigot Bay in St Martin, although we have been up to Grand Casse Bay and have also spent a night in the marina, when we were getting some work done, which needed shore power.
We have managed to get our large genoa repaired and it is back on and we have the new fridge keel cooler fitted and working. The fridge now uses up to 40% less power, so we can run it much more often and it is cooling the fridges to a lower temperature – i.e. colder beer!!
We did get the diesel generator checked, but the problem is clearly diesel bug related, so I will have to work on this myself.
We also had a problem with our chart plotter and AIS, however I have managed to fix this and we have also upgraded another one of our instruments, so the electronics are in good shape. We bought a new set of binoculars as our old ones have suffered from the sun and part of the armoured coating has melted. We intend sending these back to Steiner for refurbishment, but couldn’t be without binoculars for the few months this is likely to take.
We have had numerous trips down Simpsons Lagoon to the Dutch side in the dinghy, as the main contractors and chandleries are there. We also found a cash and carry (Prime) just up from Budget Marine, where the wine and beer is much cheaper than on the French side. They also did a good deal on Laphroaig and Johnny Walker Black Label! We stocked up with about 4 doz bottle of wine and 8 doz cans of beer – should last a while.
We took a day off our jobs to go down to Philipsburg, the capital of St Maarten, on the bus. It was a bit of a culture shock after the relatively quiet of the French St Martin. They had a large, busy beach with lots of bars and restaurants and a large duty free shopping area aimed at the cruise ships. There were 4 very large cruise ships in dock and another couple of smaller ones. One of the shop keepers complained that there were 30,000 people on the cruise ships, but they all seemed to go on trips so they had seen very little business from them. He was grateful for my purchase of 2 new pairs of Teva sandals! Susan bought a Skort (a combined skirt and shorts, she tells me) and this is probably our clothes purchase for the year.
We are now ready to head off to Anguilla this weekend and then to the BVI’s.
A Catamaran squeezing through the French exit from Simpsons Lagoon.
The sea front at Marigot, with the Fort Louis Marina on the left.
The statue dedicated to the women market traders.
The very large chandlery at Cole Bay on Simpsons Lagoon in St Maarten. Note the visitor in the foreground!
The beach at Philipsburg with the 4 large cruise ships in the background.
The quaint courthouse in Philpsburgh.
One of the many churches.
A colourful restaurant in Philipsburg.