Saturday, March 10, 2007

Monday 5th March

Anse du Colombier
St Barthelemy

17 55.457 N
62 52.204 W

Gerry was up as soon as the alarm almost went off – we were both awake and I switched it off before it had chance to shatter the peace and quiet. Whilst I slowly got dressed Gerry bounced out on deck (don’t you just hate morning people?) and hauled our dinghy up onto the foredeck, lashed it down and mad sure it was all secure for our trip. I gathered up life jackets, sun glasses, and hats, tied down the chair in the salon and secured the stuff that always moves in transit. We had a quick cup of coffee and cereal bar for breakfast and then it was time to haul up the anchor and make our way to the bridge. The French side bridge opens at 08.15 for boats leaving the lagoon and we had to negotiate the channel to get to the bridge. The charts show that the channel depth is only 7 feet in places which is a bit scary – we didn’t want to get stuck in the channel. Dale opted to follow us out (chicken!) that way if we got stuck then Gypsy Palace wouldn’t. As we made our way to the bridge several other boats joined the line – some in front of us, some behind us and one cheeky sod who cut between our two boats and stayed there all the way out. Happily we got through the channel without grounding though we did show zero feet beneath the keel at one heart stopping point. The bridge opened on time and we made our way out of the lagoon on a green light. By the time Dale and Lorie were going through the bridge the light had changed to red for out going traffic (that was us) and green for ingoing traffic, so they technically ran a red light and I have the pictures to prove it! Once we were back out into Marigot bay we unfurled the jib and motor sailed our way to the end of the island, unfortunately that was the end of the sailing, try as we did it just wasn’t possible to keep the jib flying as the wind clocked around to its favourite position – on the nose! So we ended up motoring all the rest of the way to St Barts short for St Barthelemy. We found our way into Anse du Columbier, a secluded bay which is part of the St Barts Marine Reserve and raised our Q flag, as we were only staying for the night and not going ashore we weren’t going to check in. There were a few moorings there but they were already taken so we had to anchor. Gerry dived on the anchor to make sure it was set properly; the water was a little chilly so I didn’t even get my feet wet. The bay which was originally owned by the Rockefellers is apparently only accessible by boat or a mile long trek over the hills, there is no road access which makes it a very desirable beach. Whilst we were there we saw several large turtles swim by, they didn’t come close enough to the boat for a picture though – I think they are camera shy. We had an early dinner and went to sleep very early as we were going to be leaving at O dark o’clock for Antigua or St Kitts & Nevis if the weather forecast was wrong.



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