Saturday 2 February, St. Maarten day 6: Back on anchor, visit Marigot Bay and meet Bob’s friend on super-trimaran.
I need to vacate FKG’s dock by 9:30am so up early to get everything ready before to leave. It’s very quiet around here on a Saturday.
The refrigeration guys show up at 8:45am and puts a final top up to the freezer, and I store all the food back into the fridges. Let’s hope (all fingers and toes crossed) this is the last fridge intervention for some time to come. In the last 12months we’ve had no less than 5 different technicians on board, each one with several visits. So I hope we have reached the end state and finally eliminated all the system weaknesses.
Just as I’m about to slip the lines to leave, Andrew the electronics tech arrives. In 10 minutes he installs a connector on the GPS antenna lead and the AIS is fully operational again. I had to chop off the factory fitted connector to be able to thread the 15m cable through the radar pole and up to the nav-station.
Bang on 9:30am Cloudy Bay motors away from the dock. We’ve got quite a bit done in the last 24 hours. Unfortunately, being on my own, I did not take any video of what was being done.
I anchor again in Simpson Bay just a few meters from where I last anchored, and right next to Second Chance, the catamaran which we briefly fell in love with last year in Grenada. Ann and Howard now have a firm offer on her. She is a Knysna 50SE made in South Africa and likely the nicest cat we have ever seen. Seeing her again did rekindle some passion for it, but any dilemma is solved now they have a buyer. My biggest concern was that such a yacht will surely depreciate rapidly, whereas our HR54 should retain value much better. Plus all those thousands of hours getting Cloudy Bay to how we want her. Couldn’t bear to throw all that away on a whim for a cat.
After a tidy up around the boat I remove the cover plates on both foresail Furlexs. Both seals need replacing and they just arrived here from Selden Sweden. The cover plates come off OK but the simple task of removing the old seals is not happening. The seal itself has a steel ring in it (yes steel!, not stainless) and it has corroded, of course, and completely welded itself to the alloy cover plate. Bummer! Well, 2 more items to go to the machine shop on Monday. They will have to be put on a lathe to get them out. How stupid is that?! It’s another story of a perfectly marinised part spoilt by a cheap part with steel in it, just like the hydraulic quick connects with their steel locking balls. I must write to Selden and let them know my opinion!
Time for an explore and to get internet. So I dinghy across to Marigot Bay, the town on the French side about 2 miles away. On the way there are numerous wrecks and half sunk boats from Irma. And Marigot itself still looks like the hurricane hit it just a few weeks ago. Damaged buildings, a collapsed stadium and most places still out of business. But you can still feel France in the place: laid back, a little bit messy and classic small French shops. Very quaint. And, best of all, my phone works here so I can catch up on a few things and call Oana … who seems to be settled back into her Bucharest habitat very well. Having her baths, meeting family and friends, going to gym etc.
Next mission is to find a 60ft trimaran that Bob’s old friend has brought here for a multihull regatta next week. Bob Hayes is a very good friend who we met in Dubai. He raced on the J22 with us before he retired and left back to Italy. This friend of his, Steve, used to race with Bob in Singapore. I eventually find the trimaran on the Dutch side and I’m welcomed aboard and soon with a G&T in hand listening to stories of Bob from 30 years ago. Hmmm he was a bit of a wild man back then!
The trimaran is a Rapido 60 made in Vietnam. Steve can’t stop telling me all the details of how fast it goes. It only weighs 9 tons and has more sail area than Cloudy Bay. Everything is dynema and high tech. Apparently it planes upwind at 45deg to the wind and goes up to 17 knots! Off wind even more. It took them 35 minutes from St.Barth’s to here compared to our 2 hours. They are going for a practice sail tomorrow, and I’m invited along! Should be interesting. The risk is that Cloudy Bay may seem like a slow cow after tomorrow!
In the evening I wonder the streets looking at the night life. Although inviting, I have no desire to join in without Oana with me, so it’s back to Cloudy Bay and a few hours reading my book. I know … boring old fart eh? 🙂