St Martin/Sint Maarten

We arrived in St Martin (the French side of the Island) on 10th December,  We dropped the hook in Marigot Bay and checked in at one of the marinas.  St Martin is a great island, a good combination of boat services, great supermarkets and some nice places to hike or visit. We spent just over 3 weeks in St Martin, mostly anchored in the Lagoon between Marigot on the French side and Simpson Bay on the Dutch side.

Fortune was kind to us and we got to spend some time with Catherine and Henry from Mowzer, friends and inspiration from Ottawa. We hiked a couple of times with them, they were in St Martin to drop of the boat for some longer term work before heading back to Canada for a while.

Here we are at the top of Pic Paradis, the tallest point of the island

and the view

St Martin has the best food we have seen so far, great bread from 90 cent baguettes to every kind of french bread you can imagine. Cheese, produce, beer and wine all cheap and good. Super U on the French side was better for wine and beer, Carrefour on the Dutch side was great for fresh produce and even a good selection of Dorset cereal.  Coffee and a pastry was often our lunch with great places on both sides island.

The cruising community in St Martin is large and there is a busy social schedule of happy hours in local bars, trips to see the planes land at the airport.  A number of businesses operate just to serve cruisers.  Central to the is a radio “net” held each morning at 7:30 on channel 10.  Mike from Shrimpy’s Laundry and Yacht Services hosts the net and it is a great way to keep track of social events, comings and going and a great place to ask for help with any sort of boat or provisioning problems.

We did a few boat jobs, I completed the new lifelines, Kathleen, as she has blogged, got the dinghy chaps done and we also fixed the pressurized water pump again, this time with full success.  I got new glasses as the saltwater had damaged the coatings on my old pair.  Amazingly, it only took a week to get the lenses made in France, shipped to St Martin and assembled into the frame, all over Christmas.  Our mast mounted Wi-Fi router has been problematic, it was rebooting regularly following any rain, this would last a day or two until it dried out our it rained again.  I had a replacement shipped via Shrimpy’s, With a trip to the top of the mast this solved the problem and moved us up a generation in technology from 802.11G to 11N.  The new router a Ubiquity Networks Bullet M2 Ti seems to be waterproof and much more stable. As a little bonus it also seems to have more range.

  We also helped Al and Tess on Ingomar with a VHF and AIS issue they were having.  Tess did a nice write up here.

After a side trip to Saba, we headed off to St Barts and points south, but more about that later.

 

 

 

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