Chris had prepared our new home really well and after arriving & settling in we spent a day exploring St Martin. The kids discovered the iguanas at Oyster Pond, there is one tree just full of them, all just chill in’ in the Caribbean sun!
Our first stop was a beautiful stretch of beach at Orient Bay, where I quickly relocated to the shade of the bar for a coke. After an expensive but mediocre lunch we faced the excitement of Maho Beach. For the none plane-spotters amongst you that is where the landing strip of the runway is metres from the beach! It’s an awesome experience of having huge passenger liners land over your head, or blast you with their engines as they prepare for take off. Will may not have enjoyed it quite as much being in the sea, whilst Amelie ducked under, he was sand blasted a bit too much 😟
The last beach was at Grand Case, with a very civilised sundowners at a beach bar whilst the kids played and we Skyped friends & family from the bar wifi.
Our first sail next morning was a quick hour out from Oyster Pond to the deserted island of Tintamare just off St Martin and it was a bit of a roller coaster. The large reef makes it a difficult exit but a very exciting start to our adventure.
On arrival we picked up a buoy close to shore. The bay is all buoyed – a lot of EU grants have been spent in the French Antilles investing in dependable & inspected buoys to preserve the anchorages and raise income.
A short swim to the beach reaped the rewards of a shady spot to read, and the discovery of a monastery of Hermit crabs – I’m not sure of the collective noun but I feel monastery suits! There were also geckos a plenty, just cracking on getting up to gecko stuff, it felt like we were in an Attenborough documentary. Will & Chris went off adventuring to the interior of the 500m wide island and also reported two huge tortoise.
The trip was slightly marred by our discovery of 300 litres of water in the bilges and an empty water tank. All our carefully stowed food and supplies were tested big style and it was an anxious time while we assessed the damage to infrastructure. Fortunately the problem was swiftly narrowed down to a pipe outside the water tank which had been done by movement of the stowed gear. Not a great situation but we have another water tank & Chris quickly fixed the pipe. My none-DIY boy has shown his true colours 🙂 He then cooked a couple of meals for the forthcoming 24 hour sail to complete his domestic God status.