20.5 hours of what!
09 April 2012
Monday, April 9, 12
Yup, wind and waves on the nose, then current, and wind picking up making this one of our least favorite crossings. We saw a few cruise ships and a freighter or two on the way, but traffic was much lighter than our trip to St. Thomas, Most likely because it is a Sunday night, and fewer cruise ships in this area.
I was able to get several hours of sleep, an hour at a time, but Jim only managed 2.5 hours since Sunday morning at six am… It is now Monday 10:40am and we arrive in
Simpson Bay and drop anchor to wait for the 11:30 bridge opening to allow us into the Lagoon. The bridge on the Dutch side of St. Martin opens 3 times a day for departures and the same for arrivals (9:30 – 11:30 and 5:30) we were hoping to arrive in time fore the 9:30…but no luck. At 11:00 the outbound traffic comes streaming out from the lagoon, and at 11:15 us, and about 15 other vessels start hauling anchors and lining up for the bridge. Imagine this…there are several vessels in the 38-50 ft range, another catamaran that is first in line, and a 125 foot sailing vessel, and a 225 foot motor yacht all maneuvering in place, trying to stand in position with the wind and current… The bridge tender announces a 15 minute notice to queue up and start preparing, as they prefer to have the bridge open for the least amount of time…and then a ten minute notice. So here we are all manuvering in place, when the bridge goes up…but the stop and go light marking the entry stays red…and then the bridge goes down! WHAT! The first boat, who is now in the channel calls the bridge tender and asks what the issue is, and we all find out that an emergency vehicle needs to pass. Good Grief...all the boats start swinging out and around to attempt to hold position, and shortly the bridge opens again, and we all line up and stream thru. Yikes!
12:00noon and we are anchored in the lagoon, and down the dinghy comes so we can clear customs here in St. Martin. What we really want to do right now is fall into bed, but rules are rules and we are required to attend to customs immediately upon entering a new country. That done, we stop for a quick bite and some free WiFi so Ginny can take care of some business, then finally, we head back to the boat to crash!
We are again anchored beneath an airport runway and find the air traffic to be quite brisk, but so interesting as jets, and prop craft take off over the boat all afternoon….fortunately this does not interfere with our naps! Tomorrow it is on to the chandleries for the parts we lost or broke and hopefully a stop at the French side of the island for Seraphinas fresh delightful bakery goods!