Sunday, December 14, 2014

Just Up The Coast

With the north swell subsiding this weekend and one task on our minds, we decided to move just a few miles up the northern coast of St. Martin to the second largest town on this side: Grand Case.

We found that between Simpson Bay with access to the marinas and chandleries on the Dutch side and the shops of Marigot that there wasn't much we couldn't find that we needed, but one task we set ourselves in St. Martin was the replacement of our old mattress. After five years of pretty heavy use in charter, it was a very squished version of its former self. In fact since we came down in October we've been sleeping with the mattress from the other berth doubled up which has been quite comfortable but leaves us with nowhere other than the saloon for Jim to sleep when he arrives in a week. With this urgency in mind we did our research and found what looked like the best source just outside of Grand Case.

Out with the old...
Saturday morning found us debating, "Should we take the bus or move the boat?" Sometimes the anchor holds more than our floating home, sometimes its hard to uproot yourself and get moving too. However, we overcame our inertia, pulled us a very dirty anchor and started our leisurely way just three miles up to Grand Case Bay.

Leaving Marigot behind.
On our way out of Marigot I snapped a few pictures of the variety of boat life around us. Anchored around us had been the usual mix of fiberglass productions boats and the more unique boats like the pretty little turquoise wooden one I included in the previous post. Anchored further out is where you usually find the larger power yachts and then along the way we saw a variety of working outfits.

Interesting tri-marin design for a megayacht.
Unpainted steel-hulled ketch.
This mess looks like it was sunk long before the hurricane, but they are cleaning it up out of the harbour.
The ferry boat arriving from Anguilla.
And of course, our new little dinghy :-)
Grand Case consists mostly of a very tight one-way street between the beach and the salt pond and airport. We've never ventured off the main street here before since there is ample to see with the restaurants and little shops. Island Mattress is up at the other end of the airport so we set off for a walk about a mile inland and amazingly enough on the first try found the shop, and it was open. As I've commented before, it typically takes us three attempts to make these kind of arrangements. Geraldine was extremely knowledgable about boat mattresses (who knew there was such a technology) and we have now ordered a new matress that will be cut to fit our not-quite-rectangular, not-quite-queen-size space. Given the tight space on the boat, the mattress has to be cut in half to get it in the door as well, so the two pieces will be properly covered and delivered to us by the middle of next week. Yay, Jim won't have to sleep in the saloon!

Mission accomplished, we puttered around the boat for the afternoon, took the first swim in a week (Marigot harbour was just a little too murky) and enjoyed the light of the setting sun on the town.

So pretty in the evening light, so glad we moved.
The local kids spend their evening jumping off the pier, even the littles ones are fearless.
To finish off what turned out to be a pretty perfect day, we headed in and had BBQ at one of the LOLOs that Grand Case is so famous for. We actually had our pick from high-end French or Italian cuisine, absolutely fresh seafood and many other choices inbetween, but we love the picnic table atmosphere (and price) of the LOLO (locally owned, locally operated) so we settled in for ribs and chicken with just about every fixin' you can imagine. I'll get a picture next time - I was too hungry and forgot to pull out the camera.