We are finally leaving the marina here in Sint Maarten after 2 hot weeks headed for a night at anchor just outside the lagoon and planning move on tomorrow. We did manage to have some repairs and improvements done to “Goldcrest” whilst here and skipper was like a pig in muck when it came to shopping for parts in the 2 huge chandleries right next to us. Meanwhile first mate tried to make herself useful and pass the waiting hours, polishing stainless steel and generally beautifying the decks. A local guy did a polish job on our blue hull so now we look extremely smart. Only trouble is, we have to go sailing now and get salt on everything again!
Thank goodness for the friendly bar attached to the marina here where we have spent quite some time drinking cold beers and sampling their good value sandwiches and suppers. We did venture out a couple of times in the dinghy with our new 8hp motor to experience the novel sensation for us of going fast on the plane. Most business around the lagoon is done by dinghy and most of the restaurants, bars etc have a dinghy dock. We joined the “sundowner” crowd at the local yacht club by the bridge into the lagoon one evening to watch the massive motor yachts squeeze past when the bridge opens.
We achieved the most important things we came for, but at these prices there were several jobs we wanted to do that will have to wait (the belief that this is a cheap place t get work done are well off the mark). We fixed the broken bits and have added a solar panel so hopefully we can spend much longer at anchor without resorting to the engine for power.
Now we can go sailing! Our immediate plan is to visit Saba, a sheer sided volcano with almost no shelter. It’s famous for its scenery, but also for being inaccessible if there is any swell running. We’ll go and have a look and accept that we might be moving on straight away, headed next for St Kitts & Nevis.