Saturday, March 22, 2014

Lots of Sailing!

A Typical Antigua Beach.  Do you see Montserrat in the background?   It has the puffy smoke from the volcano billowing out!

Nelson's Dockyard in Antigua.

One of the nice mega-yachts waiting for the owner to arrive.

St. Martin beach bar restaurant Andy and Cheryl's.  It used to be called Baywatch and it is located on Orient Beach, the most popular beach in the Caribbean!

One of the mega-yachts trying to squeeze through the bridge on the Dutch side of Sint Maarten.  Notice the fenders that will touch the side of the bridge!

Whew, it made it through!!!

Happy Hour at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club with friends.

A typical beach on St. Martin!

S/Y Aspen – March 22, 2014 – Log #118
Aspen Position: 18 degrees 02’ N  063 degrees 05’ W
Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten

How time flies out at sea.  We left tropical Dominica and sailed to Guadeloupe, further north in the Leeward Islands.  We were in France once again with wine and cheeses to satisfy our hunger.  The anchorage at Deshais was overcrowded and during the night there were 40 knot winds that raked the small bay.  Many many boats dragged with even a dinghy with its' attached engine flying into the air at midnight.  Aspen's anchor held easily but boats were whisking past us at warp speed and out into deep water every few minutes.

With little sleep that night we decided we had enough of bumper boats so we sailed to Antigua and some shelter from the mayhem.

Jolly Harbour in Antigua was just what we needed!  A secure marina, friendly customs people and smiling local people to welcome us.  Did I mention that the west coast of Antigua has spectacular beaches as well?  They are really uncrowded and worth the visit.

The Crow's Nest bar in the marina was a meeting place for many of our fellow cruisers.  Friendships were renewed among a lot of the ARC fleet with crews we had sailed with arriving daily from other islands in the Caribbean.  It was like a home coming as we sailors converged in Antigua.

St. Patricks' Day on Sint Maarten was looming on the horizon so after a couple of weeks we had a fantastic sail to one of our favorite islands in the Caribbean. 

After an overnight sail, daybreak found us waiting for the opening of the drawbridge into Simpson Bay Lagoon on the Dutch side of Sint Maarten.  Without much delay the bridge opened and we motored into the peaceful lagoon, but guess what?  Our reverse gear decided not to work at that point!

Ok, so we had to go into a slip in the marina without reverse.  Geeze.  Luckily there were 3 dock guys waiting to catch our lines and stop our forward progress before Aspen crushed half of the concrete dock with her bow!

So here we are, waiting for a part to be made in jolly ole England to fix our reverse gear lever before we can continue on.  They say it will be 2 weeks to make the part and then it will be sent to us.  Time will tell and we really hope they can tell time!

Sail on, sail on Aspen...

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