Saturday, March 10, 2007

Sunday 4th March

(French) Simpson Bay Lagoon
St. Martin

18 02.683 N
63 05.508 W

After yesterday’s drama today would be quiet in comparison. We had arranged to go and officially check out of the country by visiting the Customs and Immigration office at the dock. I had a return trip to the straw market to make in search of the shell jewelry that Rose should have bought when she was here and I promised to try and get for her before we left the island. Whilst Gerry and Dale went to check us out with the authorities Lorie and I went in search of the jewelry. The market seemed very empty of stalls and we thought it was because we were early; the jewelry man wasn’t there so we strolled over to the customs office to join Gerry and wait for Dale who was inside doing paper work. Gerry had had a rap across the knuckles as we were supposed to have got photocopies of Rose and Mark’s air tickets out of the country to show that we hadn’t abandoned them here but they didn’t make a great fuss about it. How were we supposed to know that?! Anyway we paid our 5 Euro departure fee and we are cleared to leave in the morning. Once Dale had also got clearance papers we set off back towards the boulangerie strolling through the still half empty market on the way - still no sign of the jewelry man. We queued for French pastries and coffee and then sat down to stuff our faces with them, yes they were wonderful! We discussed going out to meet Lyn and Peter at the airport in the afternoon and the best way to get there, a taxi for the 4 of us would cost $24 each way whilst a hire car would cost $25 all day – it was a simple decision in the end. We returned to our boats and did some onboard chores before returning to collect a hire car for the afternoon, again we checked the market for the jewelry man – sorry Rose you just weren’t meant to have them. Then we took the scenic route out to the airport, with views of the large racing boats out having a sail – an awesome sight. We arrived at the airport about 30 minutes before Lyn and Peter’s flight was due in so we found our way to the bar (shock horror!) and had a coke each – well the guys had a beer. Then we sat people watching until at long last Gerry spotted Lyn and Peter’s heads amongst the arriving passengers. We bolted down the stairs and flung ourselves at the travel weary couple, they seemed genuinely pleased to see 4 tired, scruffy, grotty yachties greeting them in a foreign airport, for our part we were just pleased that they didn’t disown us on sight! We had a brief half hour to catch up with all the gossip and share some stories then it was time for them to join their bus that was to take them to their boat. It was really great to see you guys even if it was only for a short time, we hope you have a wonderful relaxing time on the 4 masted super yacht – we will be racing you even if you aren’t going in our direction! As we got in the hire car to return to our base I kicked myself – I had taken the camera along to get a photo of us all at the airport and promptly forgot all about it. To make matters worse so had Lorie – I think we must have had too much coke and not enough rum at the time. Once we had returned the hire car Lorie and I voted for a rum punch at one of the dockside restaurants, it was so strong that we had to order something to eat with it (sounds like a good excuse not to cook dinner!) so we ordered pizza which turned out to be terrific followed by crepes and another rum punch. So having eaten dinner it was time to dink back out to the boat, haul the engine onto its stand and tie stuff down ready for an early start in the morning.



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