Saturday, Day 9
27 November 2010 | 17 57.28'N:62 57.61'W, Bound for St. Barts
Saturday, November 27
A day without sailing├^is a day in port! Early on Friday we motored Tioga the short distance from Baie Grande Case to Fort-Louis Marina in Marigot, St. Martin. Philip handled the details of the med mooring with ease and soon we were walking the docks to clear in, a simple matter of filling out an Internet form.
It was not our first visit to land, though. After our Peter Davis Thanksgiving dinner├'trust me it was delicious and memorable├'the six of us loaded into the dinghy and went ashore as illegal aliens. We swam the river, ran the border, crawled the ditch, you get the idea. Luckily, in these parts, no one is too concerned when undocumented foreigners show up with cash in their pockets. Baie Grande Case is an artsy sort of community with restaurants galore and small shops lining narrow streets. We walked to what Bob described as the dark side of town and there found a rum bar owned by Captain Frenchie. The establishment was not teaming with customers, but it was right on the beach. And the captain knew just what we were looking for when we said we wanted a rum punch and not some blender drink. In six very unmatched glasses, he proceeded to concoct a delicious mix of cane syrup and cane rum├'after he ran across the street to the liquor store to buy the latter. You gotta love just-in- time hospitality.
It was here we learned our first lesson on Caribbean etiquette: Don├-t ask what├-s in the jar at the back of the bar. We did. It turned out to be chock full of incredibly sweet rum and year-old fermented orbs that looked somewhat like apples but had a much tougher consistency when you bite into them, which we also did. Captain Frenchie, immediately produced seven more glasses and we were compelled to each sample the stuff. I├-m not saying it was bad, mind you, but I├-m wagering he doesn├-t sell a lot of it.
Then again, you got the feeling he didn├-t sell a lot of anything. On our personal tour of the kitchen, there were still plenty of ribs left on the George Foreman grill from the captain├-s lunch, which he readily shared so we could sample the spices. Other than that, though, it didn├-t look as though much got cooked there on a regular basis. But you couldn├-t beat the prices: $18 pretty much covered everything, though the boys tipped heavily in thanks for the show.
From there we were off to the Blue Martini, for foosball and jazz, which led to a taxi ride to the Dutch side, but more on that some other time.
On Friday, once we├-d properly entered the country, Bob, Doug, and I were charged with shopping for fresh produce, while Philip, Peter, and Ulf went hunting for boat parts. Just outside the marina, we found a sidewalk caf┬┤ where the ribs couldn├-t be beat. And from there we took a taxi to Simpson Bay and the IGY marina there in search of the remnants from the North American Rally for Cruisers. Sadly, NARC founder Hank Schmidt was no where to be found, but we managed to rustle up a few crews who├-d made the wet and windy trek south from Newport while Tomas and other assorted lows stirred the offshore waters. Sounded nasty.
This morning was an early one. We pushed off from the dock at six, bound for Saint Barts. So now, our passagemaking is over and island hopping has begun. The lee clothes have been stowed, our supplies have been replenished. Bring it on!
This post is made possible by Iridium and Global Marine Networks.