St. Martin to St. Barthélemy

St. Martin to St. Bethélemy

We woke from our much-needed sleep to a beautiful sunny day.  Winds were moderate (10-12 knots) as we sailed close-hauled from St. Martin to St. Barts.  With George’s tweaking of the rigging, we managed 5- 7 knots over ground despite unfavorable current.  The combination of the boat’s heeling and a 3-4 foot swell made it challenging to move around, but we only needed to tack once, so we sat back and enjoyed the ride.  We passed by uninhabited islands with distinctly different topography.  We saw turtle heads galore and our first siting of tropic birds.
The first time we saw tropic birds was in the Bahamas.  Sometimes, the white bottom side of the bird takes on a reflection of the turquoise water below – doubly gorgeous.
Our delicious pancakes in the morning held us for quite a while, but eventually, hunger becomes a force compelling enough for me to head down into the hot, stuffy cabin (you can’t sail with the hatches open) to make lunch.  I had a simple lunch planned – burritos – and I have a method where I assemble them and then heat them which requires few dishes and very little time below.
I had the burritos heating up when a large wave threw the boat to the healing side.  At that same moment, one of my kitchen cabinets opened and the contents came careening out, much to the floor.  George called out “Are you OK?”  I hesitated for a moment as my full concentration was holding back the cabinet contents that were still on the counter and assessing the situation.  I then simply said “No” and George from the companionway replied something like “Oh Man…”

The worst of what had fallen was our flour canister (that had been filled the previous day) and our sugar canister.  The sugar acted like tiny ball bearings creating a treacherously slippery floor.

This photo taken mid-way through the clean-up after the bulk of the flour and sugar mixture had been collected off the floor with a dustpan.

As cleanup progressed, waves continued to tip the boat.  The sugar began to absorb moisture, transforming from ball bearings to syrup.  I began to sweat.  As the boat tipped, the slimy mixture below my knees, facilitated my slip-sliding away.  In the picture above, I am grasping the stairs and cabinets as I slid to the starboard side of the boat.

The worst part was that we were aware of the fact that objects on top of the cabinets could bang into the cabinet latch and open it.  We had already purchased a 90 degree plastic strip to install behind the latches to prevent it.  George installed them the following day.

Our mooring in Anse du Colombier (Cove of Colombia) is off a lovely beach banked with boulders sculpted by years of winds and salty waves.

Anse du Colombier (Ice Floe marked)

First thing upon arrival, George took the dinghy to check in with Customs and Immigration.  He could not bring Duhkxy as he had not been cleared for land yet.  Duhkxy and I waited on Ice Floe.
Duhkxy expresses his anxiousness, particularly when parted with George, with ear-piercing shrieks and yelps.  He has gotten much better, but still objects vehemently if he is left behind for a dinghy ride.

Check in went smoothly as George had submitted much of the needed information on-line beforehand.  The Customs agent did not mention Duhkxy so George offered “We have a dog.”  The agent responded in a French accent “You have a dog”.  George went on to offer “He does not bite” that elicited nothing but a blank stare from the Customs agent.  George says he was a bit punchy from being over-tired 😀

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