Monday, 28 April 2008
BVI To St Maarten
Happy birthday Janine. April 14th marks 41 years old for our intrepid Admiral, mother and wife!! It seems like just yesterday………. Unfortunately for Janine and Granny (who is in for another visit) we took a marina in Roadtown, Tortola for the 13, 14 and 15th. This meant working. Cleaning, fixing, laundry, grocery shopping and stowing away all the stuff. We also got our boom sorted out once and for all, as well as buying new house batteries for the boat. True to form on the 14th itself it poured rain all afternoon (as it almost always does on Janine’s birthday),but at least we were quite sure it wouldn’t hail! It was a very busy day without much time for birthday revelries. We had a birthday dinner in the restaurant at the marina with Granny, Rennie, and Denny. It was a nice dinner but we were all very tired. With Granny aboard and all our chores done, it was time to start heading east again. We have been in the BVI’s for nearly a month. These are a very beautiful group of islands and despite the large number of boats (think Ganges on August long weekend) and that everything out of the main towns is overpriced “No I will not pay $12 for a hot dog!” We have really enjoyed ourselves here. Snorkeling and diving in these crystal clear waters is truly amazing. We have also been able to meet up with family and friends (see Sue and Steve’s post). Although you could probably spend a lifetime here and not see it all, it was time to move on.In preparation for our passage to St Martin we spent 2 nights in Gorda sound at the eastern end of the Bvi. The Bitter End Yacht Club is a five star resort that welcomes charterers, cruisers, and their families to their facilities. The mooring balls are only $30 a night. On our previous visits the boys really wanted to sail one of the Hobie Cats the club had to rent. Up steps Granny “ Oh I’ll rent one!” Yippee !! Dad and Granny got the first ride. Zipping across the bay at full speed, water spraying everywhere, was lots of fun. Our friends and us all got a chance to sail. Thanks again Granny! There was a photographer out in a dinghy taking pictures of the fun www.yachtshotsbvi.com is their website and if you search April17, and I think the subheader is “watersports fun” you can see the pictures. We left Gorda sound and the BVI on the afternoon of the 18th and by dark we were well on our way to St Maartin. Again it was a motorsail into the wind with lumpy seas. Not very exciting, or comfortable but in the morning we were able to anchor in the lagoon at St Martin. The crew, along with friends had a great breakfast of Ham and cheese Croissants, Pain au chocolate, Café Latte, and other such luxuries. After checking out the Dutch side of the island ( you can pass freely between the 2 countries almost without notice) we sailed to Ille Tintamarre and played on the beach. Some of the others on the beach introduced us to a strange custom, the cliffs are made of a reddish clay and we all had a “spa” treatment. We looked pretty funny all covered in mud, but it was a lot of fun. Grand Casse was our next stop, a small beach town on the French side, on Tuesday nights they close the street to cars and the restaurants and shops spill onto the street. A drum band paraded with a large variety of dancers. Our friends on Migo (www.migo.ca) I’m sure have posted many pictures of both the street festival and the mud bath adventures. We rented cars and took a tour of the island, the highlight of which was the beach bar at the end of the runway, where you can lie on your back in the sand and have large planes fly right over top of you, so close it feels like you could reach out and touch them. All too soon it was time for Granny to take that long lonely plane ride back home, early the next morning we loaded into the rental car and drove across the island to the Airport. After a tearful so long it was off to the grocery store to refill the pantry, and the cooler and a few more boat chores. It is now Monday April 28 (Happy Birthday Vance!) and we are getting ready to move along to St Bart’s and then St Kitts and Nevis. We must get moving to customs and check out, as well as find internet to post this blog. Cheers from us until we find internet again, the crew of High Five.