Thursday, January 20, 2011

On the morning net VHF call I heard that Laura Dekker was going to exit via the Dutch 9am bridge, so I dinghied past Heinz-Dieter to pick him up and we headed for our paparazzi photo opportunity at the bridge. Upon returning to the boat I was a bit worried, as the big catamaran ahead of me was being inspected by the Dutch and I thought I might be next in line; disappearing in the dinghy right after arrival might set of some warning lights so I waited it out and, fortunately, they departed without stopping by Zanshin for tea. While my papers are in order and I got new fire extinguishers and flares I am fairly certain that they'll find something that I didn't think of and ticket me in order to stock up their coffers.

Heinz-Dieter and I headed over for dinner aboard Arita, enjoying fine company and a tasty meal. The dangerous combination of wine and copious amounts of food had my eyes closing on me, despite it barely being 9pm

Unpacking on Zanshin I Unpacking on Zanshin I
Unpacking on Zanshin I
Laura Dekker and 'Guppy' I had heard on the morning radio network in St. Martin that Laura Dekker, the young female singlehandar, was going to leave the Simpson Baie Lagoon on the Dutch side during the morning opening, so I managed to do my best impression of a Papparazzi and was there in my dinghy to grab a snapshot or two.

[18°2'9.89"N 63°5'35.3"W (facing NW)]
Laura Dekker and 'Guppy'
Dutch drawbridge Sint Maarten The opening of the bridge, you can see the spectator platform on the left where one can see the big yachts close-up as they go through the narrow bridgeway. Sometimes they leave a bit of paint.

[18°2'9.78"N 63°5'34.5"W (facing W)]
Dutch drawbridge Sint Maarten
Laura Dekker leaving St. Martin Laura Dekker (presumably with her parent aboard), going through the Dutch drawbridge in St. Martin and departing the Simpson Baie Lagoon for the outside anchorage.

[18°2'9.72"N 63°5'35.27"W (facing W)]
Laura Dekker leaving St. Martin
Piropo IV Piropo IV

[18°2'8.32"N 63°5'42.22"W (facing SW)]
Piropo IV
Tight Squeeze The big megayachts really don't have much clearance on either side when going through the Dutch side drawbridge in St. Martin, and occasionally one leaves a bit of paint or blows a fender when going in or out, particularly with a bit of a crosswind.

[18°2'8.4"N 63°5'41.79"W (facing E)]
Tight Squeeze
Axia departing St. Martin Axia departing St. Martin

[18°2'9.06"N 63°5'40.71"W (facing S)]
Axia departing St. Martin
Sint Maarten Drawbridge The bridge on the Dutch side of Sint Maarten opening to allow yachts in and out. This opening was for outbound traffic.

[18°2'9.02"N 63°5'41.25"W (facing E)]
Sint Maarten Drawbridge
Dutch customs inspection This zodiac offshore customs boat checked out a number of the boats at anchor in the Lagoon and I heard through the grapevine that they were quite judicious in handing out fines for such things as outdated fire extinguisher and flares. They later inspected me on Statia.
Dutch customs inspection
Oxidized mirrors I believe that this is a common problem on boats - the silvered rear side of mirrors oxidizes after a time and looks like this.
Oxidized mirrors

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