Born of the Sea

Preparing for a phased retirement on the sea. Muirgen (Gaelic for 'born of the sea')

14 May 2024 | Union Island, SVG
10 May 2024 | Mayreau, Grenadines
09 May 2024 | Tobago Cays, Grenadines
07 May 2024 | Mayreau, Grenadines
05 May 2024 | Mustique, Grenadines
02 May 2024 | Baliceaux, Grenadines
01 May 2024 | Bequia, SVG
22 April 2024 | Saint Vincent
15 April 2024 | Marigot Bay, Saint Lucia
08 April 2024 | Saint Lucia National Parks
06 April 2024 | Rodney Bay / Gros Islet, Saint Lucia
31 March 2024 | Sainte Anne, Martinique
13 March 2024 | Iles des Saintes
10 March 2024 | Deshaies, Guadeloupe
03 March 2024 | Monserrat to Guadeloupe
02 March 2024 | Monserrat

St Martin and Ile Fourchue

24 February 2024
Donna Cariss
Having been made aware of the St Martin Cruiser Net, we were ready and waiting on VHF channel 10 at 0730 hours to listen to the broadcast. It started with the weather forecast and was followed by notices of events, chiefly the forthcoming Heineken Regatta. Next came useful information, items for sale or wanted and lastly newcomers and departures. Pete was still in bed and I didn't announce ourselves as we weren't staying long. Pete took the laundry and returned the 2 courtesy flags we had bought the previous day, as we no longer needed them and then we went ashore to look at the market. There was a torrential downpour, which sent us scurrying for cover in the street food section, where we had a beer and shared a Creole shrimp and squid snack, which was delicious. The rain stopped and we worked off the food by climbing the hill to Fort Louis, which provided us with good all round views of Marigot and the anchorages. On our way back down we saw 3 iguanas in the trees. From the dinghy dock, we headed round to the canal to collect our laundry and then into Le Dock for a quick drink.
The following morning, the 22nd February, we listened to the Cruiser Net again. The forecast was for the wind to come from the north but only around 10 knots with a swell of 1 to 2 feet. The anchorage wouldn't be sheltered but the holding is good and there shouldn't be any issues. At 9am there was a squall, with heavy rain and strong, swirling winds, which created havoc in the anchorage. Several yachts and catamarans dragged their anchors and there was a near miss, when a yacht couldn't get its anchor up. Fenders were deployed and luckily no damage was done. We decided to return to the same restaurant as yesterday for lunch, choosing more squid and shrimps, plus the mahe mahe. We had a long chat with Sharon, the owner, who told us what happened when hurricane Irma struck St Martin. She lost her home and her restaurant, surviving with her children in the bathroom with a big pizza pan over their heads to deflect rain and debris. They managed to run to a neighbour's house during the 2 minute lull when the eye of the storm passed over. When you look at Marigot, you can see all the new rooves on the buildings, all the same style in blue or white. While eating lunch, we decided that we should purchase a souvenir of St Martin, a pebble painting that we had seen in the market yesterday. We went off to locate the stall but it wasn't there today. I was gutted and wished we had bought one the day before instead of prevaricating. Back on the boat, we lifted the engine on board before Pete went snorkelling to check the anchor and scrub the log wheel. He reported that the anchor was dug in up to the hilt, so we should be safe overnight with the northerly wind. Around 2.30pm, Pete spotted a massive barracuda sheltering under the boat; it was at least 3 feet long. He tried to catch it, just to have a look at it but it wasn't hungry. Last job of the day was to complete the SailClear advanced notice of entry for St Kitts and Nevis, plus the KNATs immigration form for each person, all online, which have to be completed at least 24 hours prior to arrival. The boat was rocking and rolling and it started out as an uncomfortable night on board but the rocking eased a little in the early hours, allowing some sleep. In the morning, we were facing east again, head to wind but the swell was still coming from the north.
On Friday morning we had our engine on at 0740 hours and the anchor up relatively quickly. The sails were up almost immediately and for the first time, we managed to sail non-stop from start to finish. We had downwind sailing out of Marigot Bay, which became a beam reach as we rounded the headland into the Dutch side of St Maerten and around 40 to 50 degrees to port as we crossed to Ile Fourchue. It was lovely sailing and fun on the helm. We were on port tack, so had to give way to almost every yacht that we came across. We picked up a mooring buoy at Ile Fourchue, the private island, at 1230, in time for a small glass of wine with lunch. In the afternoon, we snorkelled, first with the turtles; at least 5 of them, including a baby and then on the rocks to the south side of the anchorage. There we saw quite a lot of reef fish including a bat fish, puffer fish, box fish, yellow tailed snapper, grouper, sergeant majors, blue and yellow tangs and butterfly fish. In the evening, I needed a cardigan for the chill; I must have acclimatised to the Caribbean weather! We sat in the cockpit watching a couple of yachts come in after a fabulous sunset. They were playing spot the buoy. Eventually one of them found it and the loser had to anchor. The evening ended with a beautiful moonrise, almost full and shining with silver light. We had an exceedingly comfortable night.

Comments
Vessel Name: Muirgen
Vessel Make/Model: Westerly Typhoon
Hailing Port: Hull
Crew: Donna and Peter Cariss
Muirgen's Photos - Main
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Photos of Muirgen preparations
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Created 23 June 2017
Photos are limited as the weather was dreadful and was mostly a white out. Photos are from the phone as too wet to take the cameras.
10 Photos
Created 19 June 2017
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Created 17 June 2017
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Created 15 June 2017
The Beautiful Kvitsoy
5 Photos
Created 5 June 2017
Weekend with Hommersak Divers at Kvitsoy
8 Photos
Created 5 June 2017
13 Photos
Created 30 May 2017
Mad creatures
16 Photos
Created 29 May 2017
Getting to Norway and waiting for Donna to fly out
6 Photos
Created 18 May 2017
12 Photos
Created 6 December 2016
Buying Muirgen
6 Photos
Created 26 November 2016