A few weeks back, Skip noticed that the gauge on our hydraulic panel (which controls the tension on both our boom vang and back stay) was starting to fill up with hydraulic oil and a little drip was snaking out from below the panel. When we got to St Martin, he removed the panel and we took it (by dinghy and foot) to FKG, a rigging shop in St Martin, and had a new gauge put in.
|Reconnecting the hydraulic panel with the new gauge.|
|You can find dishes in any size or shape, as long as they're white.|
|Everything and anything you can imagine for baking, including about 25 different pastry brushes. Yes, please!!|
|Mango sorbet while you shop|
|Great market in Sandy Ground for Frenchy foods|
Now for the touristy stuff. According to some unnamed sources (and they're really the best sources aren't they?) the number one touristy thing to do in St Martin is: go to Maho Beach (aka: Kerosene Beach) and watch the planes come and go. Actually it can be much more than watching the planes come and go - it can be as much of a full on drunken-cling-to-the-fence-and-get-blasted-with-sand-dirt-and-jet-fuel-experience as you want it to be. We opted to just watch. Part freak show, part international frat party, part jet fueled thrill... it was entirely entertaining.
|Small crowd on the even smaller beach at the runway's end|
|You can see people with heads down, clinging to the fence in the center.|
|The blast from a taxiing jet rips up the surface of the water, and blows off more than a few items of clothing|
|This umbrella didn't stand a chance|
|The biggest plane to come and go from St Martin.... KLM's 747 direct from Amsterdam three times a week|
|KLM arriving two hours late|
As we already know... I'm not great shooting things that move quickly (see: ALL my photos of wildlife) and I didn't do too well getting shots of the big one landing but Skip shot some great video on the iPad. It was going really well until the iPad pinged up a little helpful warning that said something like "Ha ha! You only have one chance to get this shot and there's no room left on here for you to record the landing!!" It's still a pretty cool video... make sure to turn up your sound.
|A view from the hills|
|Driving over the new causeway bridge toward Philipsburg|
There are so few boats in the lagoon this time of year it really feels like a bit of a ghost town. At one point we were the only boat anchored on the Dutch side, which is usually full of boats. There are a few yachties that are here year round, including the crazy guy who swims across the lagoon and threatens to set people's boats on fire, but transient yachts like us are few and far between. Our friends Daryl and Adri on Leila are almost here too much to be considered transient... but we were happy to catch them before we all headed in different directions again.
|Another goodbye to Leila... this time in Grande Case, St Martin|
|No drought in the mountains on the north end of St Kitts|
|The out-of-the-way marina in the north end sits under Brimstone Hill Fortress|
|A Royal Caribbean cruise ship dwarfs everything in Basse Terre|
Here's a sampling of what's under the sea here in Whitehouse Bay in St Kitts. If I've ID'd anything incorrectly, I'm hoping that our friend Lili from s/v Heron will correct me!
|A nice surprise under the boat in St Kitts - hundreds of baby conch!|
|School of silvery fish|
|One of the under appreciated 'beauties' of the underwater world - a sea slug.|
|I know it's just two sea urchins, a few rocks and a star fish but doesn't it look like a face?!|
|Sea urchin and little spider crab|
|Skip spotted this octopus hiding out flattened under a rock, with a spider crab for company|
|Beach bar seen from Saralane. There's literally nothing here but this bar and us. So close, but yet so far.|
Maybe next time we pass this way we'll actually go ashore and see the fort and visit the town and have a drink at this little beach bar. Tomorrow we'll be off to nearby Nevis to do some visiting there. Eventually we'll get to Antigua.