It is nice to visit St martin again a great place for cruisers. We were here the season before the hurricane and was a little bit concerned over how it would look today.
First impression was that it was very few boats on the Marigot anchorage but that was due to still early season, when we left ca 14 days later the number of boats at anchor was substantially higher.
First thing to do was to clear in and the Island Water World chandlery in Marigot lagoon was still providing the service, and there was the damage from the hurricane clearly visible.
The red and white striped jetty is where you tie up your dingy when visiting Island Water World. At the end of the blog you will find some more photos from the damage. After clearing in we saw this rather large lizard
As my brother Thomas and Brita would leave after a few days we wanted them to experience a more joyful part of our life, by just relaxing
And enjoying the nice warm water and sun, they look as they appreciate the last lazy days before they headed home to a grey and cold Stockholm.
Also, Kerstin took the opportunity to relaxed with a glass of wine.
We do we do?
We quiet often get the question what do you do out there? Besides the obvious as seeing a lot of nice places, meeting new people, all is not just fun, and you already knew that we must repair things now and then, but there are other things as well, as improving life aboard.
A long-wanted thing has been to fix sun protection for the PVC windows on our spray hood. Kerstin got inspired by the one we saw on Joy, one of the other Amel SM on the Salty Dawg rally. So we took the dingy over to the Dutch side
And bought what was needed for fabricating the sun screen, the sewing machine was deep down in one of our wardrobes as it had not been used for sometimes, but it worked flawless
Work in progress
Hand sewing the Velcro to the spray hood, a hard work, but the result was very good
Finally, we have the shade so very needed especially when sitting long days at the helm.
Easy to roll down when we do not need them.
On my behalf came the task to replace our flexible solar panels on the rail
The flexible panels were not very suitable to have on the rail, as they where flexing/vibrating in the wind and looked older than they were.
I have long time trying to find a better alternative, 2×100 watt is what we had, 130 watt panels would fit better but they have been difficult to find, so we went to Island Water World to purchase two 100 watt panels, but came back to the boat with two 150 watt panels. It was a risk that they would be to large
Work in progress
Work ready, they are large, but so fare we have not seen any great disadvantage of the size, only the advantage of more amp’s getting in.
I found to my surprise that I had to replace the old cable as it was corroded, it had only been there for a bit over two years. Obviously, the plastic cover was not 100% water tight, one could blame the connection that I had done, but the cable was corroded all the way it was exposed to salt spray. Lesson learned always buy high quality cables if possible, on the other hand when fixing things when cruising, one must use what is available.
Another recurring task is to provision, and St Martin is a very good place to do that. Last time we were in St Martin Island Water World had provisioning trips both on the Dutch as well as on the French side, but that is no longer, the shop on the Dutch side was destroyed during the hurricane, so only Super U on the French side remains, but it is a very good option a very short walk from the Marigot dingy dock.
One can not walk back with all this, so we asked them to call a Taxi, but the Taxi did not come, instead a lady who worked at Super U who had her lunch break, offer to take us down to the dingy dock, very nice indeed.
Will all this fit into the dingy? We had our doubts
It did, it was a little bit tight for Kerstin, but it worked.
It is a hard work to provision, and the hardest part is to fit everything into Kerpa.
That is the task for Kerstin, I better keep some distance as Kerstin’s mode then could be a little bit ….
But after the task is done and I served Kerstin a Rum Punch, the happy face is back. Now we will be good for a few month, only fresh vegetables and fruit whenever available.
What do we more do then? Well if one is on a French island one enjoys good food, such as
Foie Gras and Champagne
Duck breast, so now you know a little bit more about what we do all these lazy days, besides enjoying beautiful sunsets
A very odd thing is to see people buying Christmas trees
when the sun is shining, and the temperature is well above comfort level for shopping and being ashore. For us in Sweden, Christmas is very much related with snow and cold weather. Not sunshine, we have very little Christmas mood, but on the other side we do not feel any need for it, we just enjoy.
Even if life seams rather normal in St Martin now 14 months after the hurricane, there are numerus evidence of the ordeal the people had to encounter. Below follow some photos, most of them speak
One can se many boats that had suffered a lot of damage that someone trying to fix, some were more challenging than others. We also got the impression that some boats had become housing for local people who had lost their land-based home.
These photos are just examples there where may damage boats here and there.
We left St Martin after ca 14 days a late afternoon heading to St Croix