The Dutch side bridge, Sint Maartin
We made landfall on Wednesday, 28 December, and fell into paradise.  Well, a lot of people say that about the Caribbean, but lately a lot of people also talk only of how overrun it is with people, and boats, and thieves.  We weren't at all sure what we would find.  After all, the last time we were in Saint Martin it was June of 1999 and that was a long, long time ago.  What we have found is a place where people are smiling and friendly, and genuinely so.  If a store doesn't have what we want, they walk out front to show us the way to find it somewhere else.  For a yachtie, the 2 large chandleries are bigger and better stocked than anything we have found anywhere else in the world—and we have shopped most of it for boat parts!  We couldn't imagine a place we could walk in and find all 5 new AGM batteries we needed, charged and in stock, and then to also find in the same store the 6 new Aero6gen wind generator blades we needed.  Next door is FKG rigging and welding, and they made the new pole for the wind generator in one day, and the work in excellent.  Just yesterday, we stopped by the canvas and sail loft called Tropical Sail Loft.  Ernst can do our canvas replacement in early February, he has the material in stock, and he didn't even want to take a deposit, just a handshake.  Contrast that with the person we "talked" with via email in St. Thomas, who did not have the material but could get it quickly at extra cost, does not use the gortex thread we wanted but could substitute, could get the good quality clears we want but again at extra cost.  And couldn't say when she could do it.  Needless to say, at this point our plan is to go to the USVI early next week, enjoy the national park on Saint John's, and stay there through the end of the month when Mary Ellen, Harry's sister, will come for a visit—and then we'll sail back here. 

Local fruits
Warm days, warm nights, dinner and breakfast in the cockpit; a beautiful anchorage with lots of boats but lots and lots of room;  fresh mango, papaya and avocado; French wine and Caribbean beer.  It just doesn't get much better.

Next week we will sail to Saint Thomas in the USVI, see how hard it is to check into the US with a yacht these days, and see cruising friends from 1999. 

Chuck Spratt
1/6/2012 10:49:35 pm

Thanks for the info. It sounds wonderful. Say "hello" to Mary Ellen and know that we are following your trip with daily checks to your postings. Your Ponchatoula Family

1/9/2012 03:54:21 pm

Your website is absolutely wonderful. We follow it constantly. The information is great. AND you are making us very jealous.

1/11/2012 03:53:03 am

Hello, Happy New Year to both of you. Sounds like you have found paradise. I have emailed you info about our reunion. If it does not find you in cyberspace, let me know.


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