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Last update April 03 2013.
On March 1st we leave Aruba after 8 months at anchor, to sail again with first destination St.Maarten. When we leave the calm waters around Aruba and exchange it for high seas with a lot of wind and current I'm glad I took a seasickness pill before we left. We knew that the first two days would be hard, but instead of two days it became four days... In the quiet moments, I took my camera and filmed what we experienced on the Caribbean Sea.
Finally after four days we saw the coast of Puerto Rico.
We decided to make a pitsstop in Salinas to stock up JoHo with fuel on March 5th, as we needed fuel for according to the weather forecast we'd be motorsailing the rest of the way. After having supplied Joho with fuel and getting a good nights' sleep we left the next morning. We started the engine, almost no wind, had the mainsail up for stability. At that time we found out that our boom had a big crack in it. Fortunately, we were in possession of a heavy, long genoa pole which we never use because it is too heavy. We attached the pole like a splint to the boom, this structure must survive untill we arrive in St Maarten.
Just in time we finished the job, the wind was picking up from the wrong side. There was almost no progress, so we made the decision to stop somewhere until the wind dropped. Orroyo was the nearest place, we sailed close to the harbor, but couldn't anchor here. Immediately we were noticed by the Coast Guard on the land. They followed us with their car to see what we were up to. Just past the village we dropped anchor. In the night land wind starts blowing from the north which was perfect for us. Our course being east.
That night we were checked upon, first is Immigrations, then Customs and last one the Coast Guard. They wanted our names, flag, destination etc etc. One would think they'd work together, but no it still is the Caribbean. JoHo passed slowly the Spanish Virgin Islands, the wind was light and erratic so we mostly used our iron sail (motor). End of the day we passed the US Virgin Islands, decided to sail as long as it was possible with weather like this.
The night was quiet with a beautiful starry night, water looked like velvet. On friday late in the morning we saw St.Martin in the distance and around half past five we threw out our anchor in Baie de Marigot to wait for the opening of the bridge on the French side.
The bridge is opened exactly at 18 hour, we had already been in contact with Pat and Darnell (Island Dream) on the VHF and they informed the rest of the group. After we passed the bridge we saw Pat and Darnell in their dinghy with a drink in their hand welcoming us. They even knew a good anchorspot for us. It was time for a drink and to catch up with everybody. Still exhausted from our trip we closed the evening with a dinner on s/y Island Dream.
It's Saturday, March 9th, how wonderful to be free again . Today we checked in on the French side, this is a piece of cake. Then we got to a flea-boat-market where John bought two second hand winches from Pat. Here we saw the rest of the group and made plans for the evening. I am for the first time in my life landsick, everything rotated and moved, my stomach was turning.
In the afternoon I lyed and throwed up. Towards the evening we went to a deserted bar near the Dutch airport, Many sailors gathered here this evening and brough there own stuff. There where familiar faces, Steve (Christiana Pearl) and Adrian and Sam (Blue Moon), also a number of people we met in the Canary Islands or the Cape Verdes. There are also new encounters like with Dave and Lisa (Ke Ola Kai), Jackie and Ian (Blackthorn Lady), Pat and Lucy (Illusions). After this happing we went to to Little Jerusalem, the best shoarma on the island and we had some drinks at a bar. We had a lot of fun, Lisa tried to climb on the bull but, hilarious. John is laughing is ass of when René is persuaded a drunken Jo-Anne her panties off, and she did it. Around 1 o'clock in the morning we broke up and went back to JoHo for our beauty sleep.
Sunday we're just as busy and active. At 14 am we left with everyone to el Torro a bar on the Dutch side for Open Mic. Troy (Storyville) and Pat (Dream Island) have already prepared their instruments and played today. We sing along with everyone, and I even dance on the table. Do some internet to keep up at the same time. The booze flows freely, I am the only non-alcoholic coke addict which means I have double as much fun as I stay aware of all that happens.
At 7 pm we were expected on Island Dream for the birthday party of Rene and Deana. Fortunately I prepared everthing in the morning, the two special gifts were ready for this Mexican night. An easy one for me, Tortilla chips with homemade salsa and guacamole dip. Everyone made something, there is even a birthday cake for Rene and Deana. We sung Happy Birthday in four languages. What a wonderful night with his crazy group of free people .
The rest of the week is dominated by jobs on Joho, happy hours, fun with old and new friends. At the end of the week JoHo has a new boom, made from our old spinnacker pole. Furthermore, we stripped almost the hole boat and taped everthing for sanding and painting, Arthur will do this job when we fly back to Aruba. Tickets are booked for Aruba.
Every day we eat out, chinese, shoarma (kebab), tapas we even had a super tasty lunch in St Martin with sandwiches and cakes. So we gain weight again. We lived the life to its max, in a few days we'll be back in the work regime of Aruba for 5 weeks.
Tuesday, March 19, we left with Insel Air back to Aruba. Everthing aboard Joho was checked. Arthur came along for the last time for details. At 14 pm, Rene (s/y Pipe muh Bligh) picked us up in his dinghy and took us to the airport on the Dutch side. On April 24 we'll fly back to our Joho, hopefully she has a new look and a new soft top. Joho is safely on a mooring and Rene and Arthur keep an eye on her. At the airport it appears our flight has a big delay, thus we missed our connected flight from Curacao to Aruba. But Insel air destined the last flight to Aruba, we were lucky to arrive in Aruba that day. Now we will work for a few weeks and then we will sail again in May. Then with the final destination Trinidad-Tobago.
I finished a special photobook, about our travels 10 years JoHo's travel from 2001 to 2011.
Curious ? Then click the link.
And iIf you're interested in sailing the BAHAMAS, BERMUDA, MALDIVES or BONAIRE have a look at our books at SAILADVENTURES where the books are available online.
You can always mail us for more info on these cruising grounds or cruising in general, we'll gladly help you out.
JoHo is on a mooring in Lagoon de Marigot, St Martin at 12°30' N - 70°02' W.
Sailing the Caribbean and working our *-* off at Tierra Del Sol, Aruba. Meanwhile poor
JoHo will be neglected somewhat, only used in 'holidays' in between.
But our floating office and home will be there after this assignment. Ready for us to work for ourselves as 'writers' compiling cruising guides on our way.
We'll see how things will run, life's too complicated to plan anyways. Live life and plan the rest is what we say.
John and Jolanda