Sunday, March 29, 2015

St. Martin

We have left BVI a week ago with plans to make it across the Caribbean Sea and sail straight to Grenada. We would like to be back in USA for the summer and so starting exploring the islands from Grenada and going back north would give us a better timing. Well, that was the plan! After beating into the wind for about 140 miles, we had enough and pulled over to St. Martin. We have been sailing into the wind hard at 45 degrees (this is the closest up wind that our boat is capable of sailing) for a number of days now, and it's getting rather annoying. We would sail for an hour, then tack and sail for another hour, just to end up almost at the same spot that we started from. It's not the 20 knot headwind, it's actually the adverse current that is over 1knot flowing west, so when we are sailing east, we are drifting back at about 1.4 knots of speed, making very little progress.
So we are ready for some winds that are not from the direction we are heading towards!
How is St. Martin? It's French on one side and Dutch on the other. It's actually more different than we would expect for such a small island. The French side is not as populated but is very French, where the Dutch side is very modern and a lot more populated. St. Martin is a great place to buy boat parts or get some boat work done as this island has many boat shops and skilled workers (mostly on Dutch side) to take care of your needs.
I replaced our fresh water pump which quit the day we pulled to St. Martin, and also replaced our jib battens that were broken and missing.
Since we had about 5 days where we just needed to lay low as the winds (and waves) have picked up considerably and will not abate until Sunday evening (tonight) I penciled in about 6 diving spots which we were looking forward to dive here, but the waves are too big to be out in the ocean on the mooring ball (we tried) so perhaps on our way back we can dive those.
We have are actually leaving St. Martin tonight for perhaps 3 day journey and yet again planning to make our way as far south as we can, so we'll see where we make it this time. The wind is still from 110 degrees and we need to sail about 153 degrees so it means beating into the wind, but the wind should be below 20 knots and those 7 foot waves should go down to 5 so we are off!
Wish us luck!

I am trying to send this from our satellite phone so hopefully this will post fine.

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