An easy downwind sail passing between the island of Ile Fourche and the rocks of the Groupers took me me to Sint Maarten. In coastal waters here past Great Bay the water was a beautiful turquoise but I am still finding it a little unnerving after all these months in the Caribbean seeing the bottom so clearly even at 20 meters depth. Anchoring in Simpson Bay I dinghied in to complete formalities. The guy behind me in the queue was a bit pushy and got a good telling off from the lady official, good one lady.
Next day I moved in through the opening bridge to the Lagoon, I fancied a quieter anchorage away from the constant ocean swell where I could get some jobs done more easilyand perhaps the best chandelries in the whole Caribbean are here. One job was to fit a stereo, iPods are all very well but the bit of music I wanted to listen to never seemed to be on the pod. The stereo I fitted could play the radio, music from iPod and also music from a usb device so I could have access to my entire collection – great.
The other job was to complete the hull cleaning, with being in the water a full year now there was a certain fuzziness to the bottom. I rigged a rope under the boat fastened off side to side by the stanchions and with its aid could dive under the boat and bracing my feet against the keel , scrape off the bottom. It cleaned off easily.only trouble was there is only so much you can scrape with one lung full of air so it took some time and was quite tiring. From time to time the rope had to be repositioned but eventually after several session it was done.
I didn’t much care for the Dutch side of the island at Simpsom bay somehow, all ribbon development along the busy roads, so I went around to the French side and anchored off Marigot. Seemed a nice little town this, I could have stayed longer but I had it in my head that it was time to turn around and head south. The forecast for the next week was good lighter winds and easterly looked ideal.