The next day we entered the Simpson Bay Lagoon and anchored at the back of the fleet on the Dutch side. We have thoroughly enjoyed St. Maarten, with its one island / two nation (Dutch and French areas) unique composition.
We had excellent service and expertise from the various marine service suppliers. Many of these businesses were started by South Africans during the 1990’s and they have been very successful, integrated well into the local communities and are very much accepted as an integral part of the local culture. Everyone recognised our accents!
We decided to buy a new dingy to replace “Old Patch” as she is nearing her time for Davy Jones’ locker. The new one is an Aruba A9 – 9.5 feet and planes very well whilst keeping you nice and dry.
Sam on “Sweet Chariot” made us canvas dingy covers (called Chaps for some reason) and has also made us a mast foot cover and another for the diesel stove chimney – so all looking very smart.
Anyone who needs sail or canvas work done at a high professional level and very good value should contact Toby and Sam at the details below or enquire on the cruisers nets.
Sam and Toby are sailing on a very well found Sunward 48 that looks as shipshape and well managed as you would expect from two ex-Royal Navy personnel hailing from Dartmouth. It’s so nice to meet folks from just down the road from your own neck of the woods when out wandering the seas!
They are on their way to a circumnavigation. So we had lots of questions for them as we wonder whether we can emulate that feat. We know that “Windward” is well capable but we have yet to prove to ourselves that we are building up sufficient expertise and that our old bones can take it!
We rented a small car for two days and had a wander around St. Maarten, both Dutch and French sides. Chilled out on the beaches and had a walk up to Fort Louis at Marigot Bay.
Phillipsburg was an interesting mixture of cruise ship rip-off retail and local colour. Liz found one outlet she liked!
There are also some interesting old buildings like the old court house and the dedication of the local church to St. Martin of Tours.
The local yachty hangout in Simpson Bay is Lagoonies where we made regular use of their internet service and happy hour drinks prices with early evening music.
After a productive and interesting 10 days in St. Maarten it was time to move on. As we left we were treated to a fine view of the tall masted sailing vessel Mercedes.
Totsiens St. Maarten – lekker bly!