What are we doing? Why aren’t we moving?
Here we go.. We’ve stocked up on food, candy and toilet paper and right now we’re playing the waiting game. Sure we could leave St Martin today and sail north but that would cause us to use our engine quite a bit as the winds mid Atlantic are quite unstable right now.
We intentionally missed the last weather window but in hindsight that was a good thing, that would have placed us in the storm that caused 9 people to be rescued mid ocean and a six year old girl died.
What are we doing then? Well most of the time we try not to spend money ashore and do some maintenance on Trusty, a nice oxymoron that turned out to be. Well the toilet problem is solved two times over now. First we bought an electric pump with a blender to make sure nothing got stuck and that one worked like a charm, at least for a week until the electrical system realized that what we had done. Now it’s working again with a brand new cable and a nice new fuse. Good thing we had that problem here in the lagoon where there are some of the best stocked chandleries in the Caribbean. More than that we have fixed a bit here and there and taped a bit on our Genua.
No, we haven’t got a faster dingy and we haven’t recreated scenes from any speedy car movie. We attended a mobile get together where you bring some snacks and beer and take about 18 dingies and tie together and drift trough the anchorage meeting new people and try not to end up on the shores. We were the slowest and smallest dingy (as usual) but we had a good time anyway and can recommend anyone who want a fun night to try it.
Fun as it was we’re sad to report that we had a smudge on the lens of our gopro so the pictures are completely blurred but we’ll see what a couple of hours of photoshoping can do. Being sunday it’s going to be a lazy day and we’ll probably spend it drinking tea and reading books.
It’s not easy living next to one of the most photogenic airports in the world. Princess Juliana international airport might be one of the better looking in the world, not because that some famous person designed the terminal but that its runway end and begin about 20 meters from the water. On the western side there is a beach that must be one of the most photographed in the world (just google it and you’ll see) and we’re planning at trip there to get some new pictures of us, it’s not every day that you can stand underneath a 747 that almost decapitates you flaring on the final approach. The eastern side might be a bit more boring with just a road and a bridge. We’re anchored out in the lagoon a bit north of the runway and we have a front row seat for all the take offs.
Our posible routes heading home.
Renting a car will help us explore the island, and make it easier for some serious shopping; the new toilet pump as well as some reef lines and food for the trip home are on our lists. One place that I’d like to find is a piece of road that Antoine Bourdain writes about in his book “Medium raw, a bloody valentine to the world of food”. Apparently he spent some time here in his darker days of newfound fame, he played music Russian roulette with a radio DJ, finding that stretch of road, and the Shawarma truck that he ate from might be one of my small goals on this island. A bit of foodie questing for me to look into.
The lagoon have some serious warm water and it’s quite clear compared to other crowded anchorages we’ve visited on this side of the pond. I can see that this lagoon might be an easy place to get stuck in, I know I would if we didn’t have to go back home again.
It’s good to know that we’re not the palest on this island, even though we all are quite brown most people we meet tend to like the sun better than us or rather have the patience to work on their tans. But here we see some American and European tourists that are fresh from the plane and that make us not the palest bunch on the island. My biggest concern now is that I’ll be a weak excuse of a man when I get home, it’s cold now when the temperature drops below 20 and I’m used to lukewarm rain, not the ice mixed ones from back home. We can only pray that the Atlantic crossing back home make me a Nordic Viking again.
After a nice sail we’re anchored in the lagoon in St Martin, we’re on the French side so we can call it Martin. Being anchored on this side of the lagoon is free, that’s not the case a bit south in the Dutch part of the island.
Leaving Antigua was a bit off a bummer, the sailor pubs are nice and since it was sailingweek there were a different party every night but we wanted to move a bit more north and now we’re in place. Why St. Martin then? Easy, it’s a good place to shop before your crossing, they have almost everything here!
But now it’s time to watch the sunset from our cockpit and have a small glass of Port just to celebrate that the anchor is in place and we’re checked in and legal. Until next time! Fair winds and following seas!
Soon we will lift our anchor and set sails for a long sail again. The last crossing was quite straight forward, you just put up your sails and then roll in the waves until you see something on the horizon and then you’re done. This one will be a bit harder. We’re actually going to have to do something while out at sea. We’re going to head north, when we get about 300 NM out the weather will decide on what we do. Bermuda if we don’t get the right weather and if the weather is right we’ll start turning east towards the Azores.
What we end up doing we actually don’t know when we leave the Caribbean so we’re just going to stock up enough food for either possibility. Let’s hope that the decision making will be easy. We’re getting ready to leave Antigua now and head up to St Marteen/St Martin and stock up on food, fuel, water and candy.
Pillars restaurant in the dockyard…
Being out on anchor, my usually strange sleep patterns have taken a not so fun direction. On land they tend not to be a problem, I sleep a bit, go up and sit on the computer until I get tired again and back to sleep. But on Trusty where I can’t do that I read a lot. The big problem with being on anchor is that I can’t really relax, I get up, make sure we haven’t dragged, check on our batteries, look over the anchor chain and other small things and then I go back to reading. Good way to fall asleep is to read a bad book but that is no fun and I’d rather read a good one.
One of the few classics still on the dock.
Now if the weather turn a bit windy my sleep tend to disappear completely. My brain gives me one hour and then it’s back to reading. Out on the sea I sleep better, sure I wake up every 3 hours but I go back to sleep knowing that the boat is sailing and I’m not on watch therefore not my problem but on anchor I can’t be on or off watch.
The rigging on that boat makes more than we do in a year!
Good thing that we’ve anchored in English Harbour now, with two anchors out and only mangroves around us I realized that I sleep. For the first time in forever I’ve slept a full night, not even on land before we left I actually slept a whole night in a long time but anchored in the mud I sleep better then I should be allowed to. There are no waves, not much wind, no other boats than can drag into us and we have no one behind us. I actually find myself fully rested now. That’s not good, how will my body cope with that?
Did someone say wax on, wax off?
I give you some pictures in this post showing of some of the boats that are in the Yacht club, most of the classics have left but the price tag’s still quite hefty.
Athena, look that one up on google..
Spending time close to all these big yachts really make you think about how unfair life truly is. Out on the dock next to the pub where this post is written there are toys worth more than most of us make in a lifetime. Most of the big yachts here are nothing more than another way for the owners to pour money straight into the sea (pun kinda intended) just to be able to meet up at some nice places around the world and see who has the (insert some other pun here and smile)…
But hey, not complaining here, we’re getting a front row seat to some of the more beautiful engineering achievements made in a long time. Good thing that the owners are nice enough to let us drool over their toys and wish real hard that Santa might be stupid enough to misplace one in my x-mass stocking…
This may come as a shock but remember that Venus-fly-trap that we bought in Oban? After struggling with the heat and sun in the Caribbean not feeling to fresh our dear pet gave up last week. Sure it might have something to do with that it looked so dead we stopped watering it. But now it’s dead and we’ll bury him/her somewhere in Nelsons Dockyard.
We have some good memories from when Kattla caught his first fly making me proud! Sitting next to her in the cockpit looking at the stars on our crossing. Lots of good memories but you know that when you get a pet you have to prepare that you’ll have to say goodbye some day. Sure Kattla might have been a plant but to the crew she was a pet! 🙂
The spongecake, Les Saints
So how did we get to Antigua you might ask us?! Well, leaving Bequia we spent the night bumping our way up past all the islands up to Les Saints. Anchored next to Pain de Sucre (the spongecake) we had two days of relaxing and snorkeling before heading up to Jaques Custeau’s marine park.
One set of pillars in the entrance of English harbor.
There we snorkeled some more and finally headed out into the sunset and pushed the last bit up to English harbor. This bay have a lot of history and waking up this morning my eyes saw the pillars of the old sail loft.
Old sail loft pillars..
Some “small fishes that swim around in English Bay, wanna go for a swim?
Monkey monkey! (Trinidad)
Remember the jungle bay in Trinidad? Behold Scotland Bay!
We’re in Antigua!
You’ll get a good story on our way here and what we did but my laptop must charge it’s batteries first.
But we’re anchored in English Harbor and not to far away is a yacht big enough to have Trusty next to the dining room table, the other dining room, next to the library where they usually don’t have any guests…
We’re doing fine but we realized that we’re running out of time and islands for this trip. Kind of sad but that’s life.