Well I tried to check out at 11.30 but although the Customs and Immigration office was open and working the harbour master was shut and although the staff were there something important was keeping them too busy to open the hatch and issue the all important bridge docket. No docket no clearance we were told. Ferries full of people, mega yachts with multi millionaires on board and the skipper of Elephants Child all had to wait till 2.30 before they could escape.
While waiting to check out I was talking to one of the St Barts skippers waiting to check out and he did confirm that Hetairos had hit the bottom shaving a mark too close. Rumour has it that there is 15 tonnes of lead attached to a stub keel on the bottom, I wonder how long it will be there?
Rumour also has it that the owner is NOT HAPPY.
I wonder if the skipper is dusting off his CV?
I wandered up to have a fish taco at the little roadside operation run by a Dominican/Mexican couple who make the best fish tacos on the island. Alas their little operation is no more.
Also closed were the bar that made great veggie platters
and my final hope was the the little hole in the wall operation that produced good pizza. But guess what they are shut as well.<
The only place open was advertised by a pair of golden arches and I was not that desperate.
It was a 90 mile sail from Simpson Bay St Maarten to Jolly Harbor Antigua and I managed to sail all the way even though the wind did not go quite as far to the North as predicted. I was reduced to dropping the keel to point a little better and only resorted to the motor a couple of times when the wind went light and boatspeed dropped below 3 knots.
Got there in the dark but the entrance is well lit and the anchoring area is enormous so I felt happy breaking my rule about no night entances. The moon althoungh newish was still giving enough light to show up the odd boat anchored incognito [ lightless ].