We sailed the 15 miles from St Barths to St Martin
in the usual Caribbean conditions with the wind between 4 and 24 knots but it
was very pleasant and we anchored in time for lunch.
St Martin is part Dutch and part French and we
anchored off the beach in Simpson Bay rather than go ' through' the bridge into
the lagoon where the water is dirty and polluted and the wind was creating a
short chop on the water. While there are more than 50 yachts anchored here and
at least the same again anchored in Marigot Bay on the French side there must be
thousands of yachts within the lagoon.
The road bridge from the sea
The bridge open and motor yacht entering-- taken from within the
The bridge opens 6 times a day and yachts ranging
from small sailing boats to super yachts such as Mirabella V and large motor
yachts up to 56' beam! There are several small marinas and various anchorages
where a wide range of boat types and nationalities can be seen. The whole area
revolves around yachting and as well as 2 excellent chandleries where we bought
more 'stuff' than expected there are plenty of businesses specialising in
different aspects of the yacht servicing industry; one of which is currently
hopefully repairing the hydraulic linear drive!
Although we anchored off a nice sandy beach it lies
parallel to the airport runway which is a Caribbean hub and between 7am and 9pm
there is a constant stream of planes from jumbo jets to inter-island 'hoppers'
taking off or landing---- at times it is so busy they have 2 small planes taking
off at the same time starting at different points on the runway!
Friday I looked over a Swan 44 that is for sale for
a friend in Glasgow and while it was in better condition than anticipated it
still needs investment but then it is the same age as Moonbeam......
On Saturday we went up to the French side in
the dinghy where we were amused to note a couple of yachts in a boatyard
that had obviously been there so long they had 'creepers' growing up the
rigging! Another boatyard was rather like a hippy colony and it reminded
me of AYC 30 years ago!
While the island is a big holiday centre we haven't
found it an attractive place; it is interesting and convenient for re stocking
and repairs and we look forward to moving up to the Virgin Islands although it
has been sociable here with Tony and Jill from 'Nychea' and John and Liz from
'Jolan- Jolan' who come from Stirling!
Boats entering the lagoon at the evening bridge
Mirabella V dwarfs the other