S/V Delilah

A Blog to track the wanderings of the S/V Delilah, a 37-foot Tayana sailboat.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Chilling

Saturday, May 6
Simpson Bay Lagoon, Sint Maarten, etc.

For the first time in a long time, we have not moved the boat in days. The lagoon is a hangout for cruisers from all over the world, and the cheap bus system makes it easy to branch out and visit other settlements. There is a lot to do here, and we have been able to take care of a number of items that have graced our to-do list for ages. "Eat lots of chocolate croissants" is not on that list, but we have managed to do so anyway. We also treated ourselves to dinner out with Val and Menno from s/v Eira (m/v Dreamweaver babysat their kids) in French Saint Martin, which is still just a dinghy ride away. We found a great bistro near the water, and the prices were extremely reasonable, especially following the sticker shock of restaurant prices in the Virgins. The creme brulee was exquisite, and big enough that Dean and I could have shared it (note that I say we could have, not that we did).

Even though the Simpson Bay Lagoon is chock full of cruising sailboats, this is considered the beginning of the slow season for the island, and especially for the lagoon, which has built itself into a haven for megayachts. What makes a yacht a megayacht, you ask. The presence of a helicopter on the back deck is a good start, as is the need for a pilot to lead a yacht through the swing bridge safely. At present there are only a handful of huge yachts in the marinas, but we are told that in February and March the marinas pack them in like high-end sardines. Some cruising friends we have met along the way are even planning to come back here in December to look for jobs as crew on the bigger boats. We hear that there are always jobs available for those who want them. We'll see how tempting that seems next spring, when our funds are low and our return to reality is imminent.

Simpson Bay recently starting charging all boats a fee for anchoring here. The amount is based on boat length, so our fee is rather modest--$10 per week. Bigger yachts pay more, and the biggest ones have to pay a bridge fee. We found out recently that the charges are in place to help pay off a loan that the U.S. gave Sint Maarten several years ago to widen its bridge. The bridge itself was in fine working order, and wide enough for most boats, but poor Bill Gates had to go elsewhere when his boat couldn't fit through, and Simpson Bay sought to fix the "problem" post haste.

1 Comments:

Anonymous sailor jr said...

hi auntie jill&uncle dean - it's sailor jr(me-Margot)...today I went to Roller Kingdom for a birthday party. I got lots of candy and toys. The coolest toy I got was a dolphin holder that's waterproof. And I almost won a speed skating contest! I was 2 feet from the finish but a girl went faster than me and crossed first. Wednesday we went on a fieldtrip to Children's Museum for Japan Day. It is respectful to take off your shoes when you enter the house. When they take a shower they take shower hose and shower then they take a hot bath. Friday night I went on a Girlscout camping trip. I didn't get any sleep until 2am. Then I had to get up and help make breakfast and help get the fire ready for hot cocoa. I made a frame for Mommy and we don't know what picture to put in it. And that is what I've been doing. Email you later. Sailor Jr

7:46 PM  

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