Bareboat Sailing - St. Martin travel blog

Captain Oliver's Marina has a very narrow dog-legged entrance

The reef-lined exit from Oyster Pond requires total focus

The Sunsail office in Captain Oliver's Marina

The young Green Iguanas were entertaining

Iguanas were not the only entertainment while we waited

Captain Oliver's Marina had 160 slips with fuel/water/electrical services

Dockside shops included a Scuba Shop, a liquor store and several bar/restaurants

Marina restaurants leave old lettuce out for the iguanas

Iguanas change from green to brown as they age

One iguana considered stowing away in our dinghy

Supermarket Le Grand Marche has an excellent inventory and an expert boat...

Three heaping carts of food costing US$805 earned us immediate free delivery....


Tuesday, January 13th -- Orient Bay to Oyster Pond

We had no activities planned for today except to shop for provisions. For breakfast we ate Swiss Familia muesli with the remainder of the coconut cream, emptied the juice and had a cup of tea. By bringing the drying racks in under the ceiling fan last night all the clothes we washed yesterday were dry. Packing up was quick. We even had time for a few last emails and some reading, then finished off the bread, cheese and a banana each before calling a taxi to take us to Captain Oliver's Marina at 11:00. Our taxi driver was very pleasant, talking mostly about raising kids.

At the time of our visit Captain Oliver's Marina had 160 slips and could provide water, fuel and electricity (110V/220V/380V at 60Hz). The Marina's entrance channel is almost 10ft deep.

We were the first of our group to arrive, at 11:30. While we waited we watched iguanas looking for a free lunch on the pier. By the time the second couple arrived at 12:15 we knew the name of our boat, the Tartane, and that it would be ready for us by 16:30, when the office closed. We had not expected to have access to the boat until 18:00 so this was good news, but we would have to get our shopping done right away and have lunch later. The taxi driver took us to the supermarket, Le Grand Marche, in Philipsburg instead of the one in Cole Bay. It was closer and he said it was bigger. He was right! It took us a long time to shop though. We were not familiar with the store layout or the products. We filled 3 shopping carts and headed for the cashier, who checked us through very quickly. The bagger was also fast and the delivery van was waiting and loading before we had even paid. Hubby and our girlfriend rode with the driver. Our boyfriend and I flagged down a taxi. We both arrived back at the marina at about 4:15 to get our luggage before the office locked up. Whew! By the time the third couple, the Captain and First Mate, arrived from the airport we had most of the food stowed somewhere and were back at the dock. It was 17:45 before their taxi pulled in. In the rush of shopping we never did stop to eat so we were hungry.

We chose the small Sports Bar, Maggi's, on the dock beside Captain Oliver's Resort, because they advertised Red Snapper. They were all out of the Snapper but the Mahi Mahi (aka Dorado) tasted very good. Unfortunately, we didn't realize until after we had ordered that this was a cash-only establishment. Somehow we scraped together enough real money to cover the tab, $40.00/couple, including the $1.50 Happy Hour beer price that our waitress generously gave us even though it was actually past the cutoff time. She was very empathetic to our situation and extremely patient with us.

Back on the Tartane we familiarised ourselves with the galley -- 5 different types of light switches placed where we never would have suspected, storage areas, tanks, hoses, radio, etc -- and noted questions and problems in the boat's log, to bring up at tomorrow's boat briefing. We discussed possible routes for tomorrow or even if we would be able leave the harbour through these rough waves. It would depend on what we heard in our briefing tomorrow. This marina has no landside shower facility and we weren't comfortable draining our shower water into the marina so we all opted for a quick "Huggie" wipedown. Soon the Captain and First Mate were ready to get horizontal after travelling since 5:00 this morning. The rest of us followed suit.

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