Monday, December 23, 2013

From BVI to St. Martin / Sint Maarten

It has been so rainy with high winds all the time.
Dennis recently read about some mariner's warning not to set off on a Friday. Then we promptly left the dock - on Friday! Dumb!
I think the warning was worth heeding. As its prediction came true: problems!

We had a real rough ride as we motored all the way to St. Maarten (the Dutch side). This seems to be the only way to get here as there is either high winds on the nose or no wind. I was praying for the later, but got the high winds. The seas started out at 3-5 feet and climbed to 6-9 at times.

To make matters worse, I got sea sick. It always happens to me on this leg. I am not sure if it is because it is a wild ride and when night falls, I lose it. Or if I lose it because it is on my mind. Either way I hate it! It makes it hard on Dennis because I don't take full watches. I need to lie down and keep my eyes closed.

Leaving the BVI for Sint Maarten
It is also hard on me when he is resting on the low side and I have to hang over the high side. Not fun. Not only does the wind get me, but also the salty waves in face. I totally forgot to pre-medicate for this trip. We were so busy trying to provision and get out of Nanny Cay that it never crossed my mind - until it was too late.

It was an 18 hour trip at 4-6 knots of slogging along. Simpson Bay looked so inviting when I could finally see it ahead. However, the wind was still blowing in the upper 20s so it was really rocky at anchor. As Dennis prepared to go to Customs and Immigration, the dinghy motor died and left him drifting in the bay without oars. The reason for stopping here was to buy oars! Ours disappeared sometime over the summer and we didn't realize it until we got to the islands. Fortunately, I remembered the name of a large motor yacht anchored next to us, so I called them on the VHF to rescue my Captain!

I did not want to hit one of these big girls!
Can't afford their repair bills nor ours!
With that, it was time to go in through the draw bridge and get a slip at Simpson Bay Marina. That was another challenge: they wanted me to back the boat in though several turns in the fairway. NOT! Not only am I not that great at backing up, by the boat was hard to control in the high winds. I was moving among huge multi-million dollar boats and did not want to crash. I admitted aloud that I was scared!

We also had a hard time understanding exactly where they wanted us to go. Sometimes the accents get in the way. Especially when everyone smiles and nods as if there is shared understanding when it is clear the me, there is not.

This is a lovely IGY Marina. We have a reservation in the IGY Marina in Guadeloupe and the World ARC starts from Rodney Bay Marina which is also an IGY Marina. The services are top notch. It is a good place to be somewhat out of the wind while we continue to fix the motor and repair the sail which suffered a rip on the way down. It never ends! But we are still having fun and haven't strangled each other yet (as Addison predicted)! But we will be in Guadeloupe by 12-28 so don't worry Loretta. We will be there.

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