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Last update March 01 2014
We're waiting for the Heineken Regatta and for our friends, Rene and Stacy, Dave and Lisa who are slowly sailing up to St Maarten. But until then we pass our time in new company. Our neighbors are Fiona and Ian SY Ruffian, a typical British couple who came for sundowners aboard JoHo. And John and Joanne SY Out of Africa, we know them from last year. Other newcomers are Sim and Rosie SY Wandering Star and Niek and Ans SY Tycha.
In the meantime we try to gather information about places that we might go to and do not have yet, SY Ruffian and SY Wandering Star had a lot of pilots and travel guides and for more information we will look at the internet. The only real problem is the internet on St Maarten, it is sooo slow.
I also have a list with all the things I want to do or see in St Maarten and we're going to tick off all of these things in the next weeks. On February 5th after a day in Philipsburg and Marigot we walked over the new Causeway Bridge back to our dinghy, one thing less on my list, the rest will follow.
Maho Beach also known as Kerosene Beach is also on my famous (or infamous) list. This beach, located in front of the airport of St. Maarten is famous for the departing KLM aircrafts and the movies about it on youtube. I will explain this: in short, there is a fence at the end of the runway with a warning sign 'don't go too close to the fence when an aircraft is departing. The force can (severely) injure you.' And yes, and what is more fun than doing exactly that, something stupid and dangerous as well?
The largest aircraft that lands here is the KLM with its 747 and on Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays this big plane comes in. So we went on Friday February 7th. It is indescribably impressive when this monster is landing. It looks like as if you can touch it. And not only the landing, it is the take - offs too. Every time people are hanging like monkeys on the fence. We looked at it all from at a respectable distance with wonder and awe, for even then you feel the power of the jet air.
After all this violence we got a lift back from a nice French lady with three children in a large American hummer. In retrospect also very special, but at that time we were still full of the adventures on the beach.
We ended the day with a happy hour at the yacht club and then went with 38 men to Little Jerusalem, the shawarma place of Abraham and Katy, what a great day .
Lagoon, St Martin
On Sunday, February 9th our friends Rene and Stacy SY Pipe muh Bligh and Dave and Lisa SY Ke Ola Kai arrived. We had coffee onboard Pipe and celebrated our reunion with happy hour and shawarma (again).
More than four months ago we said goodbye to the whole group in Grenada because we wanted to be in St Maarten before the Christmas winds started in order to meet our Christmas guests. Because of that we will miss Troy and Deana SY Storyville and Pat and Darnell SY Island Dream, they stay down south. Given that our plans have changed we will probably not see them any time soon.
The rest of the week is filled. Every day a happy hour and some eat-out-food. At the end of the week we say goodbye to Dave. He flies to Canada for 1.5 weeks. John went to visit Cat Wild Vanilla to make sense of his dream project . Some shopping the rest of the time and on Thurday the 13th we went to a wine tasting. Lisa drank so much she was sick for days, and that's very speciaal because she can handle booze like no one else.
Of course we worked on our Joho too. There are little things that we want to change because it is more convenient or because it is required in some countries (such as a holding tank with a pump-out facility). John checked our holding tank and made it work again in spite of the age and the fact that it's never been used.
We also had some excercise ourselves, on both Sundays February 16th and 23rd we hiked on St Maarten.
On the 16th we are walked with a group of sailors to Pic Paradis, was still on my list (John's growl list, I can call it now). The bus took us to the starting point from Marigot on the French side. We hiked through the forest up the mountain to the viewpoint at the top of Pic Paradis. This hike is quite strenuous, but the view is very nice. The hike continues along narrow paths and ruins down hill. After 2.5 hours our organizer Mark SY Sea Life lost directions and the group split up. One group went back to Marigot where our dinghies were, the other group went up hill again to find the path we apparently overlooked. Later we heared that the group had to hike all the way back to the starting point to find the correct path.
On the 23rd our hike started from the Radisson Resort (again on the French side) and this hike was along the coastline (from Anse Marcel). It was an easy hike on good but narrow paths with stunning sea views. A little further on we walked along the beach to Cul-de-Sac for a stopover and picknick. In Cul-de-Sac, the group splitted up again. The die hards who wanted a little longer hike, they went to Orient Beach. The rest went back to our boats, it was a nice hike and long enough for us.
The day after the last walk we had a farewell BBQ at the Pink Tug. This 140 year old tug began as a steam powered tug, was converted in 1947 to diesel powered and is now converted to a restaurant. We got a tour of the pink ship. I think it's a monstrous color, but you obviously have to do something here to attract the people. Especially if you do not want to join the price competition. As a beer is $ 3 here to the average $ 1.50 at happy hours elsewhere. Anyways, the evening itself was super-fun and this was also a goodbye to John and Joanne SY Out of Africa and not to forget the birthday of a girl called Robin. She had the night of her life, IF she remembers anything that is... a double celebration.
On Thursday, February 27th , we got the car of Ton and Dominique, SY True Blue for shopping. The boat must be supplied before we leave, preferably with delicious French wines and Dutch goodies. So first we went to the French side where we stopped at both Leader Price and Super U supermarkets. I had big list, stuff we can find price technically or something typically Dutch. In the afternoon we went to the Dutch side. Had Shawarma for lunch.After a tyring day JoHo is totally full, the rest we will stock upstore in Puerto Rico.
Now everything is done before the Heineken Regatta starts. No distractions because we will race on SY Ke Ola Kai with with Rene, Stacy, LA, Susan, Lisa and Dave next monthS.
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