St. Martin/Sint Maartin
Jun 30, 2011
|Journal Entry July 1 2011 Canada Day
Hello Family & Friends,
We are sitting in Simpson Bay Lagoon with other cruisers late in the season and there are only 6?boats whom are all going to Grenada for the hurricane season which has begun June 1st.
Yesterday we climbed the Fort Louie,which was constructed in the 17th century to keep the English away.
The French built a council hall,a jail,and welcomed vistors who could possibly help.
This island has 2 sides the Dutch and the French consisting now of 32,000 residents.
The island has a superb tradewind climate and has become a major yachting center,bareboat charter companies offer more than 200 yachts for cruising the area from Anguilla to Antigua.
Everyone who travels to St.Maartin(the hub of the northern leeward Islands,hears the same tale:over 300 hundred years ago-the date is usually put at 1648-a Dutchman and a Frenchman started walking around the island from its western shore,the Dutchman going south and the Frenchman heading north.When the 2 men met at the east coast,a line was drawn through the island with each country having jurisdiction over its segment from then on.
The result is the smallest self-contained mass ruled by 2 sovereign nations.Of the 37 miles on the island,the French governs 21 and the dutch 16.
Located 150 miles east of Puerto Rico this friendly island has high peaks,with Peak Paradise on the French side at about 1,300ft.
Another legend is the island was named by Columbus in 1493 when he sailed past it….did not land…on the holy day of St.Martin of tours.
The French side is a little more inexpensive,but no matter where you go in st.Maartins you can enjoy mountain biking,beaches,swimming,snorkeling,cave diving,any diving,spas,restaurants,nightlife,casinos,shopping,art,and much more.
Real Estate in St.Maartin is an veritable bargain compared to the U.S and other surrounding Caribbean islands.
We broke down and bought a brand new 9LCaribe dinghy here as there is no taxes,or import taxes.
We needed a new dinghy as the old one was very used when we got her,we were getting desperate putting air in it 3 times a day!
Now with the 9.9hp Merc outboard we plane at only half throttle!
Again we are waiting for our next weather window which we check daily,it seems possible to go to St.Barts,only 20 miles from here on Friday,so that will be how we will spend our Canada Day,From St.Bartsit will be a 40something mile across to St.Kitts.
Unfortunately we will be spending only 1 night in St.Kitts.
Trying to hold a course of 140 to 160 degrees south with an ESEasterly wind.
The weather window will provide us with slightly weaker trade winds of 15-20 knots and the seas will be subsiding from 10 ft only to 6ft.
From St.Kitts to Guadeloupe we will swing past Montserrat because it is a live volcanic island,we hope that 10-20 miles offshore from Montserrat that the volcanic ash will not fall upon our sails and decks.
Antigua and Barbuda are also to far to our east to visit,maybe on the return trip!
The charts and cruising guides we have are most helpful and practical in the planning our itineraries.
We have decided that the chartering will be our most reliable source to keep going with our dream