Saturday, March 26, 2016

Days & Nights on St. Martin

What have we been up to on St. Martin now that we're not in company of any particular 'boat buddy'?  Well, it's been pretty quiet I can tell you after many months of great company so I suppose the first thing is missing our friends on Blue Moon and Livin' Life and many others.

However, it's also been a great time to settle down and get a few things done.  First and foremost, being on St. Martin which is the only truly duty-free island in the Caribbean, we have taken advantage of easy access to shipping from the U.S. and decided to bite the bullet and replace our freezer.  Our current freezer is located under the salon seat - awkward to get at and pretty inefficient when it comes to power consumption, regularly consuming 5-6 amps for hours on end.

Our new solution is a portable 12v Engel fridge/freezer that we are going to place under our cockpit table where we now have a cooler.  Along with that, it's taller than the cooler so with a cushion on it, it can double as an extra seat at the table!  Cool! (in all senses of the word.)

So now we are waiting in St. Martin for our shipment that will take a couple of weeks to get here - along with new bottom paint and a few other things we added in as well.

It's been super windy for the past week - even in the protected anchorage we've seen winds steady in the mid-twenties, gusting up to 30 knots.  Given that we are now a couple of miles dinghy ride across the lagoon to reach the Dutch side, it makes for a wet ride and carefully selected outings to make the ride.  Staying in Marigot has it's upside.  The wallet stays a little more shut and projects on the boat are getting ticked off.

Yay, we finally get some relief from the wind on Monday - at least the swell and wind have stayed out of the east!

When our Genoa sail halyard came apart in Martinique and we replaced a number of our more worn lines, we discovered that our cam cleats couldn't hold the new, more slippery line.  On looking at the cams, they are definitely worn and need replacement, so that job got done.  Now we just need some nice sailing weather to go check them out!

That flattened shiny area in the middle is where the line slips on this cam.

New cams replaced side by side in our double clutch.

Being on the French side (this seems to occur more on the French islands), we've also been treated to a parade of boats that feeling the real 'free spirit' of sailing.  I'm curious though why this German flagged boat sported two sailors in shirt & shorts, one in a Speedo and the other two completely stark naked on the foredeck as they raised their anchor - right in the middle of our breakfast!

Catamaran on the right - Looks dangerous to me, you never know what can get caught in the windlass!
We've also enjoyed some of the treats to be found on the French side - pain chocolat for breakfast and yummy French food for dinner.  We haven't had any spectacular sunsets but Fort Louis above the town is lit up with red, white and blue lights every night.

Thanks for the recommendation George - Le Tropicana was delicious!

The end of another blustery day over Marigot Bay.

Lights of Marigot sparkling below the lights of the fort atop the hill.

And finally, along with some Mowzer sewing jobs, I've completed a few projects for fellow cruisers in the anchorage:  repairs to sun-damaged biminis, dodgers and sailbags, and a solar panel cover.  Meanwhile, Henry has completed oil changes and maintenance on our engines so we're ready for another 200 hours, which is what we put on the engines in the past year.

One solar panel cover complete - but note the lovely table cloth fabric Henry picked out (what happened to my husband who only liked grey??)

200 hour oil change - check!