Wednesday, December 5 – Tuesday, December 11
We spent the first couple of days in St. Maarten working on the boat, getting her fixed up after the crossing. Being in St. Maarten brings back great memories for us from our trip here in February 2009 with our good friends: Ted, Megan, Dana, and Andrea. The first thing we did on Wednesday afternoon (after checking into customs & immigration) was order a Guavaberry Colada and ribs at Lee's Roadside Grill, and cheers to our friends who we were thinking of! We also picked up a couple of bottles of Guavaberry Liquor so we can make Guavaberry Coladas when our friends come to visit us later in the trip!
On Friday afternoon, we pulled our mountain bikes out of the boat, attached the front wheels, and rode to Marigot which is on the French side of the island. Along the way, we stopped at Maho Beach to watch the planes landing at the airport. The French side of St. Martin is a different atmosphere, with lots of French restaurants and bistros, open air markets, and high end shopping. We had a great time walking around and having lunch at Bistro de La Mer.
Gene at the top of the mast fixing our wifi antennae.
On Saturday morning, Gene replaced our old wi-fi antenna with a new one that we bought that morning. In order to replace it, he had to be hoisted to the top of the mast so he could install the new antenna. So Gene grabbed his tools, and secured the halyard to the bosun's chair, and Kat hoisted him up to the top of the mast (62 feet off the deck) – very slowly of course!
Afterward, we took the dingy across Simpson Bay to the French side and docked at Port La Royale marina's dingy dock. We spent the afternoon walking around the docks and having some drinks at one of the French cafe's overlooking the marina.
On Sunday, we rode our bikes around the Simpson Bay Lagoon area, attempted to ride to Philipsburg but decided to turn around upon noticing the incredibly steep mountains we'd be forced to bike up and down in order to get there.
The view of Simpson Bay Lagoon from one of the mountain tops.
Instead, we headed back to the boat, threw on our bathing suits, grabbed our football, and headed to the beach on Pelican Cay that overlooks the entrance to the Simpson Bay Lagoon. There was an event taking place at this beach on this afternoon; a race with teams of ~ 5 people paddling around buoys in cardboard boats that were made by the team (most of which were covered in duck tape and the team's name). It was cool watching the races. Some of the boats fell apart in the water while others held up really well, and actually did a great job of maintaining the weight of the team sitting inside of them as they raced around the buoys. We finished the day with a dingy ride to the west side of the island to watch the sun set.