Saturday, 16 January 2016

Moving on

January 8th, our last day in the BVI's. We have had such a fabulous adventure here for the last two months.  A wonderful area to explore, land and sea.

Virgin Gorda , St.Thomas, Culebra, Fajardo Puerto Rico,  St. John, St. Thomas, Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, St. John, St. Thomas, Tortola, Gorda Sound...round and round we go.  Al checked distance covered after arriving here in St. Martin and has reported that we have traveled over 700 miles.

After we said our goodbyes to Paige in St. Thomas we slowly made our way up to Gorda Sound as the jump off point to head to St. Martin with John and Nina aboard Sunkissed.  The winds were dropping every day with a predicted  weather window holding for the upcoming Friday/Saturday.  We waited the one extra day, leaving on Saturday afternoon , giving the seas time to "lie down" (look at me throwing out nautical terms!) Also, the later day the very light winds were going to turn slightly north hopefully at least allowing for us to keep the sail full while motor sailing.
Chris Parker called it! That is exactly how our trip went. Completely flat seas with only the  gentle beginning of a north swell. Very light winds, 4-7 knts,  but enough that 80% of the overnight 16 hour trip east  our mail sail kept us pinned comfortably.  We were able to keep the engine RPM's very low which kept the noise and heat down while maintaining 5 knts boat speed.  Next to being able to actually sail with the engine off, it was a perfect pass.

Gorda Sound
John on Sunkissed reeling in a fish during our trip to St.Martin. Unfortunately it was a Barracuda so they had to stick with their leftover chicken curry for diner! 

Sunset during the crossing.  It's actually been weeks since we have seen a proper full unobstructed sunset.

Top of Bitter End in Gorda Sound, looking directly toward St.Martin

This is how us cruisers make friends down here, dingy rescues!  The couple in the picture (Mel and Robert from UK) and Al rescued this dingy after breaking loose from a Catamaran anchored in front of us in Gorda Sound. We all were invited aboard Castellina II for happy hour with the very grateful, lovely owners  Gail and Ron. We had such a fun night! Thanks guys.

last view of the Virgin Islands

We arrived  and dropped anchor in Marigot Bay, French St. Martin at 7am.  It was a wonderful site to lay eyes on our long lost (not really) friends, Harmonium! Together again.  We managed a nap, a walk around town, and swim before heading to Harmonium for a absolutely wonderful  welcome meal of "home made" french delicacies. Official check in waited until the next morning as they are not open on Sundays. 

approaching St.Martin

Our first dinner in St. Martin,  A January tradition, Gallette des Rois (Kings Cake) whoever finds the stone gets to be king for the night.

No broken teeth, someone's feeling special!
                                                                                                                                                              The six of us have been having a blast eating and drinking our way around St. Martin. Krista and Phil have been here for 7 weeks making them fabulous tour guides,  giving us all the ins and outs on how to meet all our needs and wants.  I'm having such fun checking out the french grocery stores. New and interesting products and amazing quality for such great prices. Who knew how great canned Duck Confit could be.  Taking the hits that we have with the Canadian dollar, it's sure nice to be in a somewhere that you can get so much for so little. We have found some completely drinkable wine for 2 euros a bottle!!

The north swell built and was fairly significant in the anchorage for the first 4 days but has died out almost completely now. We fared not too bad but for a couple of  uncomfortable  nights of sleep .  Lots of boats that didn't manage to anchor close enough to or behind the break wall of the marina sure took some abuse from the ocean!

10 pastries for $5 in contrast we bought croissants in St.Thomas and paid $3 each!
(yes, some are missing we couldn't wait)

Dingy ride through the lagoon over to the Dutch side

Burning off the pastries

view of the French bridge, entrance to the lagoon

Lagoon, French to the right, Dutch on the left 

Marigot Bay, Haven at anchor

Fire in the hole!!
Lagoon entrance on Dutch side, Simpson Bay

Happy hour entertainment last night watching the 5pm bridge opening.

you can just make out the deck on the left where we would be standing

Philipsburg (Dutch)

Great food, great company

Having  visited both the French and Dutch side of the Island, via dingy, bus and foot, we feel like it is time to move on.  We will visit a few anchorages around the island as we make our way next to St. Barts and then on to Antigua for next weekend.

Hoping you are all happy and well and enjoying life whatever you are doing!!

Love to everyone! Talk again soon xo

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