Saturday, 21 January 2012

Arrival in St Maartens and Tortola

Arrival in St Maartens, the Friendly Island, Carribean.

Tied up in St Maarten
4000 nautical miles and 11days at sea and we arrived in the port of Phillipsburg at 6am. No more constant trade winds blowing us West, with a following brisk sea, Force 5,
17-20 knots all day and all night, never reducing or changing. Actually we were in the famous Doldrums for one day, when the sea and wind were very calm, but then back into the trades.
Days have been spent in the gym, doing Pilates, and occasionally sunbathing, although the sun has been getting much more intense. Mum has been going to the talks, listening to the occasional classical matinee, and relaxing at most of the evening shows.
Last night Capt Olav cut the deck lights and treated us to a wonderful clear night sky, where he pointed to numerous constellations. He seems to be a particular friendly chap, softly spoken, who really enjoys spending time with his guests.
There's a body in the pool!
The morning visit ashore was brief, but Mum managed a long walk up into town, dodging hoards of souvenir t-shirt vendors, and shiny jewellery shops. Not much to see. Most guests seemed to be going on trips, but not us today. Tomorrow we're off on a coach trip around Tortola, which we can do with mum. Not quite the same as the last time we were in the BVIs, when we chartered a boat and sailed around Tortola and the Cays, but it 'll be fine! The sun is shining , the sky is blue and it's January!
We listened and danced to a local steel band in the evening on the aft pool deck. It was a great atmosphere and everyone danced as we left St Maarten at 11pm for Tortola.
Had a great trip around Tortola in the morning. We were on a safari type bus which wound its way up and down the hills into different bays. It is surprisingly hilly with highest point at 1750 ft which given island is only about 5 miles wide makes for some hair-raising ascents and descents. Said we would come back again and charter sometime.
Holding tummy in and trying to look relaxed!
Looking towards Virgin Gorda in BVI's
Finished the day with a BBQ on aft pool deck in the evening. It was very windy and rained later but again great atmosphere. Left late again for 2 day sail to Turks and Caicos.

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