Sailing among the Frenchies!
30 November 2008 | St. Martin to St. Barts
This is where we turn the corner! Everybody kept telling us that St. Martin would be the the beginning of the best sailing to come! We are so glad to hear that and we are living proof today! We got an early start, out the French side of the lagoon and in time for the early bridge to rise and we're off! It was probably blowing 20kts, we had ALL the sails reefed, sounds like a cutter ketch, right, and we were having a blast. It was a splendid sail! We set a new record for the rail in the water! We didn't stop, but got a close look at Anguilla while tacking by it getting around the north coast of St. Martin. We really did have a blast, but were soaked and very crusty! Very fun and exciting! Never dull on the good ship Altair! I'm telling ya that we are still so outta practice! Me tinks I forgot to stow the spinnaker and spare jib halyards and they went flying; the fuel tank we wedged beneath the dink on the foredeck went skidding around the deck because it wasn't tied; I couldn't steer the bow cleanly thru the wind for a smooth tack a few times; and we were a mess when we arrived at Ile Fourchue, just 5 miles north of St. Barts for our little 6 hour journey! The printer was on the floor along with lots of other things we thought we stowed, guess not! We thought we'd tidy up before pulling into the hoity toity elite isle of St. Barts!
We decided we were going to stop at Ile Fourchue, snuggle in for the night to clean and tidy up, when we found that all the moorings were taken, except for one. The entire anchorage is very deep so a mooring is practically essential and we took that one waaaaaaay out by the mouth of the harbor! We felt like we were on the moon! The guide book says, "it's a picturesque lunar landscape because of the goats having devoured everything, except the prickles. Judging by the way some of them were coughing they seem to have started on the prickles too." We wound up staying for another day, just for the heck of it and it was very serene when all ten of the boats moored before us left the next morning! Very blue, very quiet, very craggy with the lunaresque steep rocks just next to us, creating a whopping funnel of wind and gusts keeping us company. We managed to relax and were glad to say we stopped there.
St. Barts, now that's a deliciously different story! Very colorful, beautiful people, the fabulous architecture, the cheese, the wine, croissants and to top it off, everything is so expensive!
We danced, we ate, we went to shell beach! Great finds of beach glass and superb sea donations, and we, Dudley and I both, indulged in some topless bathing with a great lunch on the beach too!
It all went by so fast, but we really enjoyed our short visit!