Wednesday, May 12, 2010

We cleared out of St. Martin early and had a leisurely breakfast before saying goodbye to Bruce on Sold the Farm and heading off towards St. Barths While I didn't look at the weather, Bruce gave us a detailed report and the winds were, as predicted, 15-20 knots from the ENE with a short-period 4-6 foot Atlantic swell coming out of the same direction off a disturbance far to the north. While we pounded going against wind and waves from Marigot along the west coast we were partially protected by Anguilla but once we set sail at the north end of St. Martin we quickly hit over 8 knots and no longer pounded through the water. With 3 reefs in both genoa and mainsail the boat was just powered enough to make for a comfortable 4 hour passage with a respectable spot of speed. Björn did the whole route planning, passage, anchoring and buoy navigation for the trip
Once anchored outside of Gustavia we quickly got the dinghy back in the water and the engine bolted on and motored the dinghy in to clear customs and immigration. Once again, the system was quick and painless and we were out of the office within 10 minutes despite my having to use the French keyboard to enter our data; we didn't even have to show our passports and were waved along (after paying our €11 fee). A TRANSAT race with many participants had arrived and the last stragglers also came in while we were there. The little Bénéteau race boats looked nice at the dock but they must have gone through some tough weather to make it from Brittany in France past the Azores without stopping and to St. Barths in 22 days.
Stocked with steaks, cheeses and bread from the grocery store at the docks, we had a Gallic snack aboard Zanshin I before continuing back the Anse Colombier anchorage in time for a bit of a swim, then happy hour cordials and finally for a very tasty steak and potatoes dinner with garlic bread. Simple yet very tasty and once again I was happy to have chosen a gas powered grill as an upgrade to the common charcoal grill found on boats.

St.Martin mural St.Martin mural

[18°4'3.04"N 63°5'9.32"W (facing E)]
St.Martin mural
Street bazaar in Marigot These shops set up mainly on cruise ship days

[18°4'3.9"N 63°5'11.06"W (facing N)]
Street bazaar in Marigot
Bjoern at the helm Björn at the helm of Zanshin I in Marigot, St. Martin.
Bjoern at the helm
Grand Case anchorage Sailing past the island outside of Grand Case in St. Martin
Grand Case anchorage
Gustavia on St. Barths I'm anchored quite far out from the entrance to Gustavia on St. Barths. Despite being a long way from land, the water was only 30 feet and clear, but the ocean swell made this a rather uncomfortable place to stay.
Gustavia on St. Barths
Mini Transat arriving St. Barths The last stragglers arriving at St. Barths after crossing the Atlantic on the mini Transat.

[17°54'45.62"N 62°52'5.63"W (facing SW)]
Mini Transat arriving St. Barths
Mini Transat arrivals The last 2 transat sailboats arriving in Gustavia, St. Barths.

[17°54'17.62"N 62°51'37.67"W (facing S)]
Mini Transat arrivals
Mini TRANSAT boats The line of identical Beneteau racing boats after their arrival in St. Barths after a long and arduous crossing of the Atlantic (2 men on each boat).

[17°53'52.1"N 62°51'0.48"W (facing S)]
Mini TRANSAT boats
Lineup of TRANSAT yachts The mini TRANSAT racing yachts moored on the premenade in Gustavia on St. Barths

[17°53'50.49"N 62°50'59.43"W (facing NW)]
Lineup of TRANSAT yachts
Main road in Gustavia Main road in Gustavia

[17°53'53.76"N 62°50'59.88"W (facing NW)]
Main road in Gustavia
St. Barths dinghy dock Busy dinghy dock with all the mini Transat racers lined up at the dock where normally only the megayachts get to stay.

[17°53'52.87"N 62°51'0.61"W (facing SE)]
St. Barths dinghy dock
Sunset on St. Barths Sunset on St. Barths
Sunset on St. Barths

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