Friday, April 11, 2014

Ready to Go!

A popular April day on Orient Beach, St. Martin

Even more umbrellas for the tourists on Orient Beach!

Aspen's broken part.  I thought you wanted to see what we were waiting for!  It is the black plastic piece on the right side that decided to break.  Luckily it wasn't the steering that is on the lower left side!

St. Barths to the south of St. Martin

S/Y Aspen – April 11, 2014 – Log #120
Aspen Position: 18 degrees 02’ N  063 degrees 05’ W
Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten

The critical part for Aspen finally arrived!  Captain Steve managed to install it as well so we are now ready to head further north to the BVI's.  Well, as soon as the weather cooperates of course.

Based on the GRIB files, Monday looks like a good time to sail across the dreaded Anegada Passage to visit Aspen's home for the coming hurricane season.  Of course the GRIB files are usually wrong but at least they give us a good reason to leave Sint Maarten and the great time we have had here.

Connecting with sailor friends from 5 years ago on Sint Maarten was fun and it seems that they have aged a little, but not us of course!  Even though no one recognized us at first, until Maria always remembered their names and their boat names, a spark of recognition finally happened much to everyone's delight.

Some of the foodie highlights during our stay on Sint Maarten include:
1.  Simpson Bay Yacht Club - Happy Hour
2.  Lee's - Great red snapper
3.  Pineapple Pete's - Great rack of lamb
4.  Harbour Queen - Fantastic ribs
5.  Andy and Cheryl's on Orient Beach - Everything!
6.  La Piment in Orient Village - Fabulous French food
7.  Carousal - Ice cream to die for
8.  Greenhouse - Rueben sandwich & the live bands
9.  Papagayo's - Taco salad with a great view of the sea
10.  McDonalds and Burger King - American food at last

Now that we have been here for over one month, also making repairs to Aspen and spending lots of money at the convenient chandleries that are well stocked with boat parts, we are finally ready to leave.

I casually mentioned to Maria that since we have a full fuel tank, extra fuel in our jerry cans, and probably enough food to last 6 months maybe we should just head west and visit Panama and the Pacific again instead of going north to the BVI's . 

I can't really write her reply in this G rated blog!

Sail on, sail on Aspen...

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Marina Life - Waiting for Parts

 Maria at the dinghy dock in Simpson Bay Lagoon

 Cruisers selling boat parts at Lagoonies on Sint Maarten

Long Bay Beach on St. Martin
Jan, Steve's Dutch running partner on Sint Maarten

S/Y Aspen – April 2, 2014 – Log #119
Aspen Position: 18 degrees 02’ N  063 degrees 05’ W
Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten

It has not been boring here on Sint Maarten/St. Martin, that is for sure.  Luckily we are still in the marina with electricity and easy access to land, especially since we still don't have our part to repair reverse gear on our main engine!

Actually we did receive a part but of course it was not the right part.  Geeze.  So we hustled around the many places here on the island and Island Water World located the correct part for us.  Now all we have to do is get the part down here to us!

Let's see, I ran a half marathon, around the entire Simpson Bay Lagoon and didn't die of heat stroke.  I thought that was an accomplishment.  I forgot how competitive the French and Dutch runners are down here so I was lucky enough not to finish last.  I won the Veteran age group but they didn't give awards for that.

We have been going to the many beaches around the island and enjoying the beach bars/restaurants and people watching of course.  The water temperature is a little cooler than bath water but not by much so sitting in the water is really nice and relaxing.

We ran into our Dutch friends that we have not seen since we lived here in 1997.  Wow, what a nice surprise that was!  I ran many many miles with them so long ago on the roads around the island.  They remembered Maria and I as if we had never left.  Good friends never forget, it seems.

Other Mainer friends (look that one up!) also visited the island for 2 weeks so we caught up with them as well, on the beach of course.  It has been a long winter in the northeast, they explained, and they didn't want to go back.  We just smiled and bought them a drink.

Another couple that we knew from 2006 built a villa on the Dutch side of the island and invited us to visit and enjoy their pool and view.  Wow!  You can see by the picture that it is spectacular and great to visit with them while looking at St. Barths in the distance and sipping rum punches.

Once I get Aspen working again we will sail further north to the BVI's and more fun times there.

Sail on, sail on Aspen...