St Marteen / St Martin

Sans Peur
Grete & Fred Vithen
Fri 6 Apr 2018 17:14
18 04 00N 63 05 50W  29/3 - 6/4  Marigot Bay, St Martin, at anchor (the last of the Leeward Islands)

"Hurricane Irma – the most powerful Atlantic hurricane in recorded history - ploughed over here in early September 2017. 
The storm had a sustained wind speed of at least 185mph."

At least 200 yachts was sunk in the Simpson Bay Lagoon. There is sunken sailing yachts and motor yachts every where in these shallow waters.
Dismasted yachts is to be seen every where as well. All ship yards are crowded with yachts (monohulls, catamarans, motor yachts ..) that needs to be repaired.
Hotels, apartment buildings, houses, cars ... basically everything has more or less damages.
It will take years to recover. 

People here fear that the next hurricane will even be worse because og the climate change. 
No way we would dare to stay in a place like this during hurricane season.

Must have been a traumatic horrible experience. Extreme winds tearing roofs and structures apart, huge waves flooding big areas where people live.
Like Marigot, the capital of St Martin (the French side, Euroland).

Entering from Simpson Bay into Simpson Bay lagoon.
Martin is an island in the northeast Caribbean Sea
 The 87-square-kilometre island is divided roughly 60/40 between the French Republic and the Kingdom of the Netherlands but the two parts are roughly equal in population
​, about 80.000 inhabitants​
. It is the world's smallest inhabited island divided between two nations. The division dates to 1648. The southern Dutch part comprises Sint Maarten and is one of four constituent countries that form the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The northern French
​Part ​
is an overseas collectivity of France.

​On the French side they use Euro and on the Dutch side Antilleran Guilder (????).​
​But you can use USD everywhere. Changerate 1 Euro = 1 USD. Hum!
Who said it should be easy.​

We never ever saw anything like this before. Scary, sad's emotional.

Leaving St Marteen, the Dutch side, for St Martin, the French side. 
The swing bridge opens 2 times day.

More damages.

Like a yacht grave yard.
There is still some live left.
Yesterday we had a curious turtle next to the boat and suddenly a ray made a loop out of the water close to us.
St Marteen / St Martin is a good place to get your yacht prepared and repaired.
Island Water World and Budget Marine, big shops, and plenty of work shops covering all needs.
We had our freezer repaired by PermaFrost. New gas and there was a small leak which they found.
Our bimini suffering from 3 years in the sun got all stitching renewed. 
Our aluminium intake for diesel needed to be changed. There was no way we could open it after 4 months.
And there is a big modern Super U, super marche, on the French side, close to Marigot, with "normal"
prices and a huge range a nice products which we have been longing for. 5 times back and forth but now 
the freezer and the fridge is fully loaded again. Stores are full of "survival" food. 
Wine storage filled up with 3 liter B&Bs. Whiskey, gin, pastis, rom ... less then 10 Euro a bottle.

We will survey the next months without any suffering.
Yesterday we left the lagoon for the Marigot Bay anchoring outside the capital.

Actually we prefer the French side from the Dutch side. 
The Caribbean French are amazing. The friendliest and most helpful French we ever met. Incredible!
And they even speak English which means we are able to communicate. Wow!
On top of that they also have humor.

A part of our view in Marigot Bay.

​This is where Sans Peur is anchored in this very moment.

We are "anchored" in our favourite bistro Arhawak enjoying a pastis and good wifi.
The black chef is making delicious pizza.

Later in the afternoon we will leave for BVI, British Virgin Island.
It will be a night sail, 82 Nm, to Virgin Gorda.