So best laid plans all sound good after a long hard day. We decided to bust on out of SXM Oyster Pond over to St Barts. We are checked in Frech, St Barts is French and on one blog I post I read that you don’t need to clear out of SXM if traveling to St Barts. We’d have to get taxi ride to the other side of the island where the customs dock is, and that blog post said there wasn’t even an option to choose going to St Barts. So we are going to try it, worst thing is we might have to sail back to SXM to get the necessary paperwork, at least we will have fueled up and be on a down wind sail for the jaunt back to the far side of SXM.
The one item we forgot was Denis had one of our boat keys, and getting in touch is very difficult when the cell service is down as it has been for the past couple of days. We knew he was in the area cause his dingy was close by, and luck would have it it came to the boat with the key in the AM.
Now we had to figure out how to undo the chains that are covered in guk, and around the dock polls. The process of swapping lines for chains so that we could release them from the boat was messy and took at least an hour, only a could of small cuts on the barnacles at least, so not bad.
By 11am we were pretty set to go, made a plan on releasing the stern lines and going foward on anchor with a little bit of cross wind. Christine on the starboard side then to guide a floating rope away on the port side, Wayne to pull up the chain and bridle, and me to keep us crabbing into the wind without blowing into the bank/other boats. All worked out, slow is pro and slow is what we did. A little excitement as we got blown a bit and driving over the last mooring ball, but using the other engine it was fine.
Slow trip round the shallow bay the depth warning hadn’t quit going off since we turned it on before we dropped the lines always adds to the stress. But the crew put away the gazillion fenders we had out, and then we were ready to navigate the reef, all but one of the markers were spotted and the waves weren’t too big, we just barely beat the incoming Ferry at the last mark, turned to head to St Barts and yup, the wind instruments were doing their job, pointing to where we wanted to go, wind directly on the nose. We knew that was going to be the case, so we just motored without the sails that direction along with a few other catamarans, and one monohull that was working the tacks, when the wind finally came to the 30 degree mark we could have tried to sail, but we were only 45 mins out, would probably have taken longer to get the sail up, so we pressed on to Columbier Bay and grabbed a ball and finally fed the crew, the snack an hour earlier was just a hold over till we got stopped.
The freezer, the damned freezer. Turned it on again, still nothing, does’t get cold – that means no long term meat storage, but most of all that means no ice, no ice for cold beverages. Nothing floating in your cup, drinks taste the same but no cling in the glass feels like we are camping. Oh wait thats what sailing is, camping on the water and moving along slowly. At leas we have some insulated cups that keep everything cold for long periods even without the ice.
Swam round the boat, cleaned some of the gunk off speedometer so that’ll work on the way back found a spot on the hull that had been rubbing on a chain/mooring while we were in Oyster Pond, will need some antifouling applied, nothing too bad tho.
Grilled chicken fajitas for lunch and pasta and salad for dinner. Lounged in the hammocks on the deck watched the other boats, read books, hooked up the windlass remote replacement, that went swimming on the last trip.
Tomorrow we go into Gustavia to clear in get fuel and some more provisions at bigger grocery store and maybe a trip to the Chandlery to get some boat parts. And get some wifi to post these past posts.. :0