Easter in Sint Maarten, 18:02.2N, 63:05.9W
Serenity of Swanwick
Phil and Sarah Tadd
Mon 28 Mar 2016 12:51
On Easter Friday we moved the few miles to Simpsons Bay, which is just outside Simpsons Bay Lagoon, the main yachting centre on Sint Maarten. This is supposed to be where the best Chandlers in the Caribbean can be found and we wanted to buy anti-fouling ready for when ‘Serenity’ is lifted out in the summer. It is also supposed to be home to the best supermarkets in the area. We have found St Barts & Sint Maarten to be very expensive, but the British Virgin Islands, where we are heading next, are even more pricy, so we want to stock up before going there.
Because we are at anchor, we have to use our dinghy to go ashore. Most people out here zip about in rigid inflatable boats (RIBs): ours is not rigid, which means that we can stow it away easily, but it also means that if it is a bit choppy you have to go everywhere very slowly, or get very wet. On occasions you go very slowly and still get very wet. Saturday was a slow and wet day when we took the dingy into the lagoon, and across to the other side, to have a look at the Chandlers, before walking the mile to the supermarket (it turned out to be Carrefour) and carrying our two rucksacks of shopping back. Sarah then guarded the shopping in the dingy while Phil made our purchases in the Chandlers - we will never complain about the price of anti-fouling in the UK again - it is twice the price here.
Back at the boat, with the dinghy tied up behind, it decided to try out its acrobatic techniques in the strong wind and flipped itself upside down, with the outboard still attached. We don’t know how long it was like that before we noticed it, but Phil took the engine apart, dried it and sprayed it with WD40, and it seems to have survived the experience. The only loss was the handle of one of the oars that was not tied sufficiently securely in the bottom of the dingy.
Easter Sunday was very windy, so we didn’t risk going ashore until the end of the day, but got jobs done around the boat, then went ashore to the closest possible bar for a sundowner. Simpsons Bay Lagoon is now just one big boat-park, so we had our drinks overlooking yet more superyachts. The weather and costs mean that drinks ashore have been replaced by scrabble and tea onboard more recently!
This island is split in two. We are currently in the southern, Dutch, half. Today we are going to move on to the northern, French, part. This means going ashore to check out with the port office and Immigration, and then checking in again on the other side of the lagoon. We hope to get into the marina there as we need shore power to use our printer and to charge our camera batteries!
The photos below were taken from the moving dingy with a mobile phone, so not brilliant quality!
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