March 26 – April 3
Boating at it’s finest. Two days before our guest family of four arrived, the water system failed. Frank repaired the accumulator tank, restoring primary water – yeah! However, the hot water component didn’t work. With the Easter holiday week-end, the local marine plumber was not available. Rather than risk the entire water system to fix the hot water delivery, we took the ‘safer’ route and went sans hot water.
Frank fetched Roger, Katherine, Kennedy and Liam from the airport, dropped off the luggage and straight to the pool.
Much of the trip was spent at the pool and various beaches. The fairly tame iguana at the pool was lounging in a guy’s lap and letting everyone pet him. Kennedy and Liam learned to snorkel, even though the visibility wasn’t great. By the end of the trip in Pinel, Kennedy was a pro and snuck up on me in the water – gave me quite a start.
We swam, snorkeled, shopped (cute jacket Kat) and/or dined (slept) in Friars Bay, Grand Case, Marigot, Pinel Island, Maho Bay and Anse Marcel beaches.
At Maho beach the planes create a huge jet wash upon take-off blowing everyone in its path away with sand and into the water. I poo pooed this earlier as Trip Advisor’s top things to do in St Martin; I have to admit is was amusing.
Arrived for Easter service just as it let out, great timing as usual. We missed the Easter antics at the open air café, but was blown away by Chef Roger’s pasta and shrimp prepared and served on board.
The lovely hotel at the pool…
For the first few days, the weather was not favorable for a cruise/sail, especially with 2 kids and Katherine prone to sea sickness. When the forecasts cleared a bit we took off for Anguilla. The cruise across was only a couple of hours.
Upon arrival 30 minutes before the closing of the immigration office, Frank, Roger and I swiftly launched the dinghy and they raced ashore. The officials could not check us in due to a ‘major customs incident’ on the island, later identified as drug related. Thus we could not officially go ashore. The surf was up, so snorkeling was a wash. So we swam off the back of the boat.
Dinner on board.
The boys went for an evening dinghy ride and were rewarded with a swarm of bioluminescent squid.
The next morning,
we headed for St Bart’s. Contrary to the forecast, the weather wasn’t good, yes, shocking I know. But Katherine, Kennedy and Liam did so well going to Anguilla, we decided to go for it. Sailing from Anguilla to St Martin in the lee of the island was fairly rough. As we were approaching the end of the leeward side of St Martin for the crossing to St Bart’s, the local Coast Guard Safety Net announced a heavy weather warning. Frank decided to turn back. Good decision – we encountered gusts in the mid 40’s on the way back to Anse Marcel. Later we heard stories of boats that were stranded, lost an engine, lost rigging, and we saw a number of boats turning back. Had we known we could have stayed in Anguilla for another day?
Our guests decided to take the ferry across to St Bart’s the following day, which was awfully rough with lots of seasick passengers, but much quicker than on our boat. They rendezvoused with a family they met on the plane ride down, and ended up staying overnight in St Bart’s.
While they were in St Bart’s, Frank and I went to the prefecture and (finally) got our resident visas. Yeah! And only five visits.
Their last night we dined in nearby Grand Case complete with a surprise BD – mine! I tried to keep it on the down low but Frank had the restaurant put a sparkler on my dessert. We further celebrated with a special bottle of wine.
After an energetic fun filled week, Frank and I crashed for the rest of the day. And maybe even the next. Kidding, there was the hot water system to fix.