Sunday, March 20, 2016

Moving Over to the French Side

Sint Maarten, independent member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, is often referred to as "the Dutch side".  The Gilder is still legal tender and Dutch is still spoken but the US dollar and English reign supreme.  The fees to check into and stay on the Dutch side, whether in the shelter of the lagoon or in one of the anchorages is $20/week, so given that we are going to stay here for a little while and two weeks in the lagoon was enough we checked out and headed for "the French side".

On the flip side, St. Martin allows us to check in for up to six months for the grand sum of two euros if you check in at the kiosk at Island Water World.  Yes, TWO EUROS!!  What's not to love?

Along with Livin' Life we headed up to Grand Case for Tuesday night parade and dinner.  Not sure what's happened to Grand Case but the parade was almost non-existent, although the street party carried on and the barbecue ribs were excellent.  What a nice surprise when we were able to connect with Bruce and Cheryl Harvey who were visiting the island as well - Bruce was Caitlin and Jim's grade three teacher back in Richmond!

Just before leaving to head back south, Janice & Dave leant us their hookah to help clean the bottom of the boat.  As I mentioned, two weeks in the lagoon was enough - enough to start our own reef on the bottom of the boat and it was in serious need of cleaning.

Beautiful clear water, a cloudless sky and a long view to Anguilla on the horizon.

Dave & Henry wrestled for a bit to get the hookah running but after changing a pesky spark plug it was purring along

A neat little gizmo - lawn mower engine, air compressor and 40' of breathing tube with a mouthpiece at the end.

Henry's down there under the boat scrubbing off barnacles and teeny little shrimp

Final morning goodbyes with Dave and Janice
Dave & Janice headed off back towards Antigua and the north swell was making it's way into the anchorage, so off we went back to Marigot to tuck in behind the marina sea-wall.

Now that it's quieted down here, it's time for some serious boat work!

Hold that thought - who brought a cold onboard Mowzer?  Henry?  Where on earth did you dig up this horrible plague?  Having a cold anywhere just sucks, but in the Caribbean you may think it would go away faster with all that fresh air and sunshine.  However, I have to say that all I want to do when I have a cold is curl up under a blanket and sip a hot chocolate - not so much fun when it's 32C.