After one has been cruising for a little while, the "touristy" things are less of a draw, if they ever were in the first place. You spend enough time around places, and the need to go with the lemmings decreases. Ken and I aren't particularly keen on doing all of the things presented in the tourism brochures, anyway. However, sometimes you just have to do it.
Here in St. Martin there is the famous Maho beach. This is the beach adjacent to the airport runway, where some people will try to cling to the fence as the big jets rev up (not for the biggest airbus or 747, the Police chase the thrill seekers off the fence for the big birds). At either end of the beach, there are some bars, to cash in on the tourist dollars. Last time we were here, Ken and I didn't do it. This time we decided we needed to check it out. Besides, we both like airplanes, and don't mind the jets taking off over our boat. Actually we enjoy it.
We walked over from where we parked the dinghy, a really neat walk past "Badda-Bing" Adult Entertainment Bar (we didn't see any of Tony's crew there), and along a lovely beach. We eventually ended up at the Sunset Bar, which is at the south end of Maho Beach. We lucked out with seats with a view and shade, and even got a better place a little while later.
As much as I like to "poo-poo" touristy things, this was fun. The bar's prices for drinks were not extortionist, and the food was both affordable and decent. Wow. What a concept. Don't screw over the tourists? We can handle that!
There is a prominently placed sign, with accompanying graphic, warning of the dangers of the jet blasts. Well, it is a safety announcement, or an invitation, depending on your desire to eat grit sandblasted at you from jet engines. We chose to heed the warning. Others took up the challenges, and clung to the fence like flies on a windshield. They were as entertaining as the planes.
We found the planes landing more interesting. The glide paths of the big guys brings them quite low over the beach (unlike departure, when they need to get over the hills in a hurry). The little courier planes and island hoppers will quickly duck around the corner and drop onto the runway, taxiing off in no time at all. The big planes need the full 7000 feet (a little shorter than the norm) to slow down and take off.
It was when we were ready to leave that we heard the announcement that women who are topless get free drinks. I thought the sign at the bar was a joke when I saw it. Hmm, maybe I'll be drinking for free if we go back, which is highly likely.
We chose to walk back on the north side of the runway, past the airport proper (there are buses available, but it was a great day to walk). It was still fun watching the planes. When we got to the east end of the runway, not too far from where we are anchored, a jet was taking off towards the west, something they do when the wind dies down a bit. The end of the runway is farther away from the road, so we had a seat in-line with the jet wash and watched the take off. It was just the two of us, the jet blast had enough time to dissipate a bit, and it was fun, too.
If you look for Maho Beach on YouTube, you should find lots of videos of the action there. This is certainly the kind of thing that video conveys very well.
|Limin' in the Caribbean||
03/02/2014, Simpson Lagoon, St. Martin
Lynn is enjoying some well deserved rest after a full day of renovating our anchor chain locker. She also received a pedicure from her loving crew.
'Silverheels III' was designed with one anchor locker, but has a bow roller for two anchors. We like the redundancy of being able to deploy one of two anchors (twice we have deployed both anchors at the same time) when we need to. With our Delta anchor, we occasionally had to put the Bruce down, as the bottom was too soft for the plow to get a grip. Go figure, it took centuries for our species to develop a plow for cutting through soil, but then somebody figures it would make a good design for an anchor. But it worked about 90% of the time for us. With our new anchor (a Rocna, for those who care), we feel that it is still good to have a second anchor ready to go, just in case something happens to the primary anchor... we just don't anticipate having to use it often (at all?).
The problem with one anchor locker is that it really doesn't provide a place for the second anchor rode. Messing around attaching a rode in an emergency seems like a bad idea to us; when you need it, it is generally a case of you need it NOW. Before we left Toronto, a member of the Niagara owners' group wrote about how he did a renovation on the anchor locker to make a two-tier system, which involved PVC pipe down to a storage area in the bow. We emulated this system, requiring a day or two of me fitting wood into the anchor locker, fitting the PVC pipe, fiberglassing (after grinding the paint a bit on the interior of the hull), fitting in the three shelves required for this system, and generally doing what is considered a "blue" job on the boat.
Now, a "blue" job may have something to do with the colour the air turns around you with the messiness/complexity or just lousiness of the job, but it tends to refer to "pink and blue" jobs. You know, "guy" jobs are blue, "chick" jobs are pink. This is a fairly normal division of labour on many boats, but it doesn't really suit us all of the time. Sure, I cook and do some of the cleaning, but that is because I am the better cook (Ken does the dishes and often cleans the head). I am the "coatings application specialist" on the boat, a term borrowed from Ryerson that referred to the painters, but they also did caulking and other coatings applications as part of their job. That is my territory as well. Epoxying, fiberglass work, paint, caulking, this all falls into my area of expertise. This means that I may have to glass in a bulkhead or the fiberglass engine mounts, or I may have to patch the dinghy. I do the research on bottom paint and am the project manager with those jobs, whether we do the work or have it farmed out. If the job requires brute strength or boat yoga (bending into awkward positions), I often do those jobs, too, being a little younger and slightly more flexible.
So, yesterday, as I continued the purge and cleaning and rearranging of the forward storage area of the boat, adjacent to the anchor locker, I got to eyeballing the access to the anchor locker. Ken and I have not been overly thrilled with the set up that we have, as it requires Ken to "break down" the anchor chain whenever we haul anchor. This is a nuisance, and it means nobody is at the helm; a situation we don't feel comfortable with if the anchorage is a little crowded or the wind is blowing like hell. We have been discussing another renovation of the anchor locker, which would put the secondary rode a little farther away (but still instantly deployable) and would mean we wouldn't have to break down the primary, all chain, rode. I took a look at the access I now enjoyed to that anchor locker and decided to take the bull by the horns. Crowbar, mallet, drill set, screw drivers, jigsaw, and grim determination were all gathered and readied for the job. I didn't even tell Ken what I was up to. He was working on some of "his" projects in the cockpit (some woodwork and electrical stuff). This was going to be a boat yoga kind of job, with a little brute strength thrown in. This was a "Lynn" job.
It took me three hours of shifting a grand total of 350 feet of chain (a couple of times), unscrewing, cutting, swearing, sweating (a lot of sweating), prying, wedging, dirt and dismantling (generally in an less than ideal position) to get phase one of the job done. So while the secondary rode isn't as accessible right now, we no longer need to break down the primary rode when we haul anchor. Phase two won't be as bad, and will require a little more thought as to how we will do it. But the worst of it is done.
Jobs get done on our boat according to ability and strengths. I have cleaned the fuel filter on the outboard as well as changed the spark plugs. Oil changes and fuel filter changes, as well as pre-departure engine checks are all jobs I can do, and have done, just like the transmission oil. I have run what has felt like miles of cable on our boat, as well as plumbing hose. Filling the diesel and water tanks tends to fall to me. And I can still bake bread, make a wicked dessert, and wash the floor. Ken's strengths are far more technical, which is fine by me - I'll run the wire, just don't ask me to hook it up if Ken is around! He is a professional with a soldering gun, and can wire together anything on the boat we can dream up, and strips the sheets on laundry day.
I think I'll get Ken to cut my hair a little later, after I do the check up on the diesel.
|Limin' in the Caribbean||