Saturday, March 03, 2007

Thursday 1st March

(French) Simpson Bay Lagoon
St. Martin

18 02.683 N
63 05.508 W

As we were originally going to be leaving today it was necessary to go back to customs to see about extending our entry visa, Gerry and Dale elected to go by themselves leaving Lorie and I to do whatever we needed to do on the boats. The delay in our departure has been caused by a gale in the Caribbean, leaving us with very high wind gusts which are not ideal for cruising and as we are safe and protected here in the lagoon we decided that we would stay put for the few extra days. Of course there is also the fact that the Heineken regatta is on for the next few days here and the place is teeming with very large racing boats and team parties etc. We have seen some of the boats practicing and they certainly move well, they also dwarf us but they are worth millions of dollars and our boat definitely isn’t. Gerry and Dale took off in Dale’s dinghy, leaving me our one. I had little to do on the boat so decided to go over to Gypsy Palace and annoy Lorie, I collected they computer along with my bag of stuff that always gets dragged ashore and climbed into the dink. Then I did something I will never do again – I untied the dink before I had the engine running. I spent a panicky few minutes desperately tugging the starter cord as the dink drifted away from our boat, it just didn’t want to turn over and to make matters worse there were no oars in the dink – ever since Gerry lost one in Georgetown, leaving us with only one, we haven’t carried it in the dink (we really must get around to replacing the lost one.) Of course there was no one in sight to help me out as I continued to drift so I had to persevere with tugging the starter and eventually it fired and I breathed a sigh of relief and steered the dink over to Gypsy Palace. Lorie was typing up her blog for the last few days so I sat chatting and interrupting her thoughts whilst she did it. The guys arrived back and told us that they had had a wasted trip, after queuing for ages at the customs office they were told that they didn’t have to do anything, it would all be sorted out when we check out! Once they had told the tale it was time for us to depart, Gerry and I were going into Shrimpy’s to see if we could hook up to the internet and load the blogs whilst Dale and Lorie were visiting a sister boat to see the alterations that the owners had made before joining us at Shrimpy’s. The dinghy dock at Shrimpy’s appears to be constantly full and we had to push and shove our way through the dinghies already tied up to be able to tie up ourselves and scramble ashore. We ordered pies for lunch and set about connecting to the internet, reading emails first and then we spent ages trying to log into the blog site, eventually Gerry had to change the security settings on the computer to allow us to log on. I then spent a couple of hours loading the pre written blogs and photos, far longer than I had planned so I may have to reduce the amount of photos that I have been posting to make it a bit quicker in future. The good thing is that the WIFI connection is free, if you plug into power though it costs $2 – still a bargain considering what we have paid in other places. Great service Shrimpy’s thanks. Dale and Lorie joined us to do their internet stuff and tell us about the boat they had visited. They had invited the owners over to their boat for a return visit tomorrow and Lorie was having a panic attack about cleaning up the boat before the visit, I don’t know why as it never looks too untidy and after all they live on it, surely some mess is to be expected? No doubt Lorie will be scrubbing and polishing for the next 24hrs until THE VISIT, funny but she never seems to worry about that stuff when we visit! Once we had completed our internet stuff Lorie and I wandered around to the supermarket just around the corner and bought a couple of things that we needed and then it was time to untangle our dinks from the rest in the dock and head back to our boats for a couple of hours before returning to the French side for dinner. We had arranged to meet up with Gary and Linda – friends of Dale and Lorie from their travels and the 6 of us had dinner at one of the waterside restaurants on the French side, I think we were all a little disappointed with the meal, it wasn’t as good as some of the other places we have eaten but we can vote with our feet – we won’t go back there! Then it was time to return to our boats for the night, the ride back out to our boat was pretty uncomfortable, we bounced around badly for the 10 minutes it took to get there. We overshot our boat – didn’t have the GPS with us but we found it in the end and tucked ourselves away for the night. I haven’t mentioned that we are anchored just off a point in the harbour called Witches Tit – if you need to know what one of these looks like see the photo!



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