We are in the lagoon now having entered through the bridge at the scheduled opening but not without some anxious moments. We were all queued up as the bridge tender is anxious to get everybody in as quickly as possible so he has you lined up and moving in towards the bridge. Well we were just entering the channel with one boat in front of us when the tender announced an emergency closure for an ambulance and we had to reverse out. I am still not sure which way Elephants Child goes in reverse so it was an anxious moment as we swung around at the mouth of the channel. However a few minutes later we were in the channel and through to the lagoon and the prospect of some calm water and a good nights sleep once the airport activities finished for the day.
There are 100s of cruising yachts anchored out and a 100 or so MEGAYACHTS squeezed into the marinas with their crews busy polishing and cleaning and primping their charges by day and telling “There I was” stories in the crew bars at night.
We have a few jobs to get done here and Iris says she will tackle the mast climb and the squirm into the confined spaces under the cockpit as we rig some halyards and connect up some plumbing.
I am still pinching myself over how lucky we were to get the perfect weather window to cross the Anegada passage. We averaged over 6 knots sailing all the way with benign seas and a nearly full moon. The Guru Bruce Van Sant says expect to motor sail all the way and we had a beam reach. We did bend our course to cope with the expected wind shift and it all went to plan. I am trying not to look smug but failing miserably!
Well, I must say the sailing from Virgin Gorda to St. Maarten was just amazing. John's calculation for the course was superb and the shiny almost full moon lighten up the wavy sea will stay in my memory for a very long time.
St. Marteen is very different to any of the BVI ports we have been before. A bunch of people, lots of shops and bars, people from everywhere speaking all kind of languages – its surely gonna be a fun week to hang out here. Maybe I'll even get a job driving a water taxi at the 30th Heineken Regatta next weekend! 280 boats are registered and it's definitely gonna be an exciting weekend watching the race.
The only downside here seems to be that I cannot hop of the boat for my morning swim - too many boats in the lagoon, dirty water and apparently some big fish! So we'll take the Dinghy to one of the beaches and have a look at the nautical flea market at Shrimpy's.