St Marten - Week 2
04 January 2015
This week was dedicated to cleaning the boat, organizing for the season and getting ready for company to arrive Christmas Day. After three years in the Caribbean we needed to get rid of a lot of items that had gone past their shelf life. Also, we re-supplied with the ships stores with necessary maintenance items we will need for the next six months. St. Martin has the lowest prices of all the Leeward and Windward Islands and Ace Hardware often beats the marine stores by 20% on dinghy oil, grease, wax etc. The Time Out boat yard on the French side sells chemicals and bottom paint less than anywhere else. We finished varnishing the new teak trim we had made for the four forward hatches on the boat. I repaired a leak in the port side windows which required a couple of hours the remove the old adhesive and a half hour to install the new adhesive……so far no leaks on this side. One of the truly interesting frustrations regarding caulking is there is nothing we have found that is specified by the manufacture as great for the plexi-glass fiber glass combination. As a result constant vigilance is required to prevent moisture from coming in. If anyone has a solution we would love to hear it. We also screwed down the teak soul in the main cabin as it had a nasty habit of moving around when stepped on. Christmas Eve was spent fixing the water maker. Turns out the value springs needed to be adjusted. As with most boat projects this one required a part I didn't have on the boat. I have 32 Allen keys but not one of them was 3/8 inch. My buddy Shrimpy drove me to Cole Bay Ace Hardware just before it closed for Christmas. Back to More Mischief and spent the next three hours working on getting the unit going. It now is at about 80% efficiency which will have to do until we can get technical support from Echotech water makers the end of next week. The sewing machine broke and we ordered the part but will not get it until mid-February so we are looking to see if we can get it grazed here which might be good enough to get the machine working.
Christmas Day we picked up Doug and Jody at the airport. We all enjoyed Christmas dinner at Shrimpy's. It was not your traditional Christmas turkey….steaks and pork tenderloin on the grill. Next day was snorkeling in the Bay aux Cailles…saw lots of fish and a dead reef. Water and waves were rough so it was a spirited ride back to the boat. New Year's Eve we spent on the H2O boat moored in the Port St. Lewis Marina where we had a beer and a burger for $6. Here we met a lot of Canadian cruisers and some other nationalities thrown in as well. Our host Jim is a commercial diver from B.C. and was very busy flipping burgers so all night so the drinks were on the honor system. A lot different than the island of St. Bart’s only 25 miles away where Lady Gaga was brought in by the Russian billionaire Bromovich for $5 million dollars. All things being what they are we had a great time and of course missed all the fireworks. Sailors midnight caught up with us again.