Thursday, March 01, 2007

Saturday 24th February

Marigot Bay
(French) St Martin

18 05.30 N
63 06.40 W

It was another of those early morning starts today, the alarm went off at 04.30hrs and we crawled out of bed threw on the first clothing we could find and staggered out to the cockpit. Gerry prepared the boat whilst I stowed away anything that would move during today’s voyage of discovery. Rose and Mark surfaced minutes before we dropped the mooring line, in time to see us leaving the harbour in darkness. For the first time since they arrived everyone donned their life jacket as the trip we were about to undertake was the first that Rose and Mark would experience out of sight of land, it would take us 14 ½ hours to travel the 76 miles to St Martin. Exiting the harbour wasn’t much fun in the dark, we just followed the track line that we made on the GPS when we came into the place. Gerry positioned himself on the foredeck whilst I drove, the idea being that he would give me warning of anything that might be in the collision line. Once clear of the harbour we made a slight turn to starboard and past Necker Island – owned by the entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson (Dick to his friends!), we thought of stopping by for breakfast but were pretty certain that we wouldn’t be well received at that time of day – in fact at any time of day, so we just took a couple of pictures and kept motoring past. The sun rose and the day revealed a fairly calm sea and light winds, if you’ve been reading this blog carefully for a while you’ll know that the wind was coming from the only direction that we seem to encounter – it was on the nose, with no chance of us being able to sail. The whole trip was easy, no dramas but very boring as we saw nothing to report until we were just off of St Martin, Dale called us up on the radio and asked if we had noticed the funnel cloud that was to our starboard stern, we hadn’t noticed but we quickly spotted it and as we watched it developed further and became a water spout, it was a long way away from us so it presented no problems there were also several other developing funnels – it was just as well that they were behind us, it was the first time Gerry and I along with Rose and Mark had ever witnessed this natural phenomenon. The next thing that happened was Mark spotted a dead turtle floating in the water, there was no obvious reason for it to be dead – just a sad sight in the water. About an hour out from St Martin the sun set, another first for our guests to see it whilst under way. We put our navigation lights on and continued on until we were just outside the bridge at St Martin where we were going to anchor overnight. Gerry did his bit on the bow whilst I steered us to our anchoring point. We could see some very large yachts at anchor, we presumed they were here for the race week, and we anchored well out of their way. We quickly threw together some dinner then it was time for showers and an early night as we were all pretty tired.



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