To get from the British Virgin Islands to
The trip took 20 hours and we managed to check into St. Martin, the French side of the island, early afternoon on the 16th, giving Karl a few hours to explore the area, before leaving the next morning. Once our visitor was gone, Mark and I moved Irie into Simpson Bay Lagoon, to hide for the arriving cold front and to sit in a comfortable anchorage for a few days. We ended up dragging for the first time (as did a lot of other boats in this funky weather) and stayed more than a week off a tiny island in the bay. During that time we caught up on sleep, got our bearings in the huge lagoon area and ran plenty of errands. I worked online for a few days and Mark relaxed.
Overall, the Dutch side is cheaper and they have attractive “happy hours”, a concept that is less heard of on the French side. There, the bread, pastries, wine and cheese are affordable, irresistible and oh-so tasty! The capital Marigot has more charm and is more dog friendly than its counterpart Philipsburg on the Dutch side, but there are a few bad elements, like weird homeless people, the smell of urine and the presence of dog poop everywhere. After spending a month on this side of the island, we are ready to change sides! If only we could…
A few days before my parents arrived from
The timing couldn’t have been worse. This was our first big boat problem and it appeared the day before my parents arrived for a week’s cruise around the island. We were done. With one engine we couldn’t go through the narrow bridge, let alone pick up anchor and drop it again, seven days in a row. Research taught us that the cheapest way to obtain this rare part was to have Mark’s parents bring it with them on their visit to us, a week later. My parents arrived and lived with us on the boat in the lagoon. Luckily they are very flexible and we spent our time doing day trips by bus, dingy and rental car.
The wind and the swell turned bad as well, so we were happy to be stuck in the lagoon and not outside during all these weather spells. We haven’t had much luck with anything so far, but hopefully all that will change soon!
The engine part has arrived and both sets of parents are safely settled in their respective hotels on opposite sides of the lagoon. They met for the first time (in over four years of our relationship) and that was a highlight in itself! Mark and I are working out the logistics to see everybody and to fix the boat. In the meantime, we reflect on how nice it was to have working engines and to be free to move around. One of these days we will be able to enjoy the fun part of being cruisers again!