"Auto pilot, we don't need no stinkin auto pilot."
06 April 2016 | Cocoa Point, Barbuda
Josh and I decide that the weather looks good for a 90+ mile crossing from St. John to St. Martin on February 13th. We left Caneel Bay before sunset and within an hour our auto pilot stopped working. Josh was able to contact his Raymarine rep who gave us a couple of suggestions (unfortunately to no avail). So, hand steering it will be for the duration of the passage. We encountered a few blasts of rain, usual small boat traffic, and a couple of cargo ships/cruise ships. Daybreak begins as we arrive into Simpson Bay and off in the distance what we think is the outline of the hills of St. Maarten, is really the mega yacht Eclipse. She is 533 feet long (the world's 2nd longest private yacht) and we had seen it previously in the BVI at Christmas. It was awfully nice of them to welcome us to the West Indies. We dropped anchor in the bay, rested up, cleaned up the boat, and prepared for the bridge opening into Simpson Bay Lagoon. I was "too excited to sleep" as this is where we would FINALLY meet up with Skip and Madeline.