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Last update February 03 2014
On Sunday, January 5th we said goodbye to Sander and Peet after two weeks aboard JoHo. The first days after that are quiet on board. We supplied the boat again with food, drinks and fuel, had our laundry done and had a general big cleanup. Then we waited for good weather to sail to Puerto Rico, but that was not to be. After almost 2 weeks the weather still doesn't look good.
So a change of plan was called for, we will set off to Puerto Rico after the St Maarten Heineken Regatta and continue relaxing for the next few weeks around St Maarten as we have a lot of fun with old and new sailors in the lagoon too, we regularly cater happy hour on board Joho.
Then around 10 pm on January 14th, we sailed through the new Causeway Bridge in the middle of the lagoon on the Dutch side. The French bridge did not work for several days and we were forced to use the Dutch side to get out. Once outside we sailed along the coastline of St Maarten up to Anguilla. The wind is good and we enjoyed a nice sailing trip. We stopped in the beautiful azure blue bay of Road Bay Anguilla, a place that is busier than we expected.
After a quiet night at anchor, we got ashore, checked in and walked along the edge of the salt lake up the mountain. We were very curious about the view, so after taking some local directions we took the goatpath right through the brush upward. The path was not used for a long time and quite overgrown, the view was beautiful and worth the climb though, in the distance we saw JoHo on anchor. A little further we asked for directions to go back to Bay Road, but around the salt pond.
So we walked on untill we encountered a nice dog standing in the middle of the street wagging his tail. The owner is standing nearby and we start chatting and, surprise, surprise, he appears to be Dutch. Pete and his girlfriend Darline invite us at their home and we had a great afternoon with nice people in a beautiful place with a magnificent view.
What a view they had on the north side of Anguila with its reefs, bays and islands.
Darline brought us back to the port, 't was too late to walk back now and we agreed to see each other that night for food and a drink ashore. So that later that night we met their friends Sherry and Jacquie (the owner of the restaurant, Ripples) and had a very good and really affordable meal.
Rendezvous Bay, Anguilla
Next day we planned to walk to the other side of the island, to Rendezvous Bay. The sun was shining and as there was no path so we walked alongside the busy road to the other side of Anguila.
The island is flat, not spectacular in itself, but it has beautiful bounty white beaches. At the first beach bar where we stop for a drink, we saw Darline, Sherry and another friend again. We took place at their table and chatted while sipping a cool drink. This looks like vakation, we seem retired now ('styead of retarded as some people still tend to think).
Mid-afternoon we walk with Darline and Sherry along the waterfront to the next beach bar. They seem to know everyone around here and we had great fun with other people, guitars were coming out and a nice piece of music was played. We felt the tropical atmosphere and after this perfect afternoon we got a lift back with Sherry and Darline (too late to walk again).
Saturday January 18th, we will be picked up for a beach day at Smokey's for lunch, a swim and lounge with Pete, Darline and Sherry.
There is music with a live band and everyone danced and had fun. There were a number of boats in the bay rocking in the swell which is quite strong on this North-East side of the island. Not a place where we want to be with our JoHo with this swell.
After a fantastic sunny day we said goodbye to Sherry and Darline. Darline leaves Anguilla for 2 weeks, we invited Pete aboard JoHo for the next day to have a Dutch evening together with another Dutch boat that anchored next to us yesterday.
Monday morning, after a great evening with Pete and Ton and Gerrie of SY Argo, we checked out. Along the north coast we sailed towards the eastern tip of Anguilla where we head between the main Island and Scrub Island to Tintamare, another island on the French side of St Maarten.
On arrival in Tintamare all moorrings were taken and there was a big swell. So the decision to sail on to Grand Case is easily made.
Just before sunset we anchored in the the bay of Grand Case. We will stay here for a few days. Tomorrow is the Grand Case Carnival night with live music, food stalls and a mini parade. Party!
It appears that on Thursday, January 23th the French bridge still does not open, so we decide to sail to Saba instead. The wind was 15 knots from the east and we did 28 miles in 4 hours.
There were not many boats on the moorring place in Saba, we counted four of us there. John went before dark to check in to Fort Bay, about 1.5 nm away. For the return trip, he arranged a lift back to JoHo, our dinghy hanged behind an American sailingboat. That was a smart thing to do, it's a long, hard and potentially dangerous way in the dinghy.
Next morning, after a restless rolly night, we went with our dinghy to Fort Bay. Well's Bay shows a huge swell, too dangerous to land with the dinghy ashore here. Unfortunately the weather had once again changed completely. Yesterday we arrived with sunshine and calm weather, now it rained. It looks like this is not going to change.
Once ashore we arranged a taxi with another boat for the day. Through the steep roads we drive up to the Bottom, the taxi stops at every vantage point and so we arrive at the village of Windwardside. The other sailors get out here for a hike to the summit of Mount Scenery. Because it rained so hard we decided not to go, too slippery and we will see nothing in weather like this.
Instead we have the taxidriver to take us to the Flat Point trail through Hell's Gate. Between the showers we walked through the Flat Point Tidepools. The landscape at the tidal pools is volcanic, rugged and beautiful. It is here that Saba sports the shortest commercial runway in the world, just 400 meters long. The pilots who fly on it get a special course. Glad we sailed here and didn't fly.
Once back at the taxi it started raining again. We stopped at Windwardside again to have a walk and wait for the other sailors to return from their trip. Meanwhile our taxidriver leaves for his lunch. Now at 500 meters altitude, clouded and rainy it was cold ( 20 degrees !) so high time for a hot chocolate with an appelflap (yes, a real Dutch apple pie kind of thing).
When the others came back from there walk we heard that they didn't see anything indeed and on top of that it had been a very muddy walk.
Saba is a beautiful Island, wild, green, well maintained, no mass tourism, something special. We were pleased that we were able to land at our second attempt, as we tried it two years ago to no avail, because of the huge swell we couldn't land at that time. We thoroughly enjoyed the island even after several nights without sleep because of the rolling.
We leave Saba behind us as we depart on Saturday, January 25th. Despite strong east-northeast wind, we could set straight for Simpson Bay on St Maarten. Glad JoHo can sail high to the wind. Although a rough and wet sail back, fortunately I was not seasick, just tired.
Once again we enter the Lagoon through the Dutch bridge (French bridge still not working). Inside the Lagoon we saw the Causeway Bridge out of order. Placed on top of the bridge were 5 large 40 foot containers with fireworks, ready for the official opening of the bridge that night. There went my idea of an early evening rest. Around 8 the spectacle began, the bridge changed in different colors with LED lights and somewhere in the background we heard party music. Then the fireworks erupt, it was incredibly beautiful and must have cost a fortune. We enjoyed our first row seat aboard JoHo .
I finished a special photobook, about our travels 10 years JoHo's travel from 2001 to 2011.
Curious ? Then click the link.
And if you're interested in sailing the BAHAMAS, BERMUDA, MALDIVES, BONAIRE or SURINAME 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 anchor in Lagoon de Marigot, St Martin at 18°02'8 N - 63°03'9 W.
Sailing the Caribbean mainly.
Our floating home and office is always ready for us to work for ourselves as writers and editors compiling cruising guides on our way.
We'll see how things will run, life's too complicated to plan anyways. Live life to the max, it can be over before you know it is our slogan.
John and Jolanda