Today was spent sailing - the long leg from St. Barths around the southern tip of St. Martin into the bay at Philipsburg then from there around the coast to the Dutch bridge for a quick drop of the hook and lunch and from there to Grand Case. The last part sounds simple, but in actuality we sailed way past the top of St. Martin to the coastline of Anguilla and then back due to the wind direction.
As we sailed by the airport we got to see the effects of the KLM Boeing 747 taking off and blowing sand (and people) off the beach. Some people must be gluttons for punishment as I can imagine that getting sandblasted by hot exhaust gases is no fun at all and potentially pretty dangerous.
After anchoring in Grand Case we had a visit from a gentleman from one of the British boats anchored in the bay. He was rather irate and his little dog, complete with life vest, was yipping and yapping away so that he was hard to understand as he was gesturing and calling out from the dinghy. It turns out that I was inappropriately flying the Union Jack instead of the proper ensign and he took great affront at that. After he left I went about getting my ensign (which was much too small for the boat) reattached to the flagpole and just as I finished that he returned with his old and somewhat tattered ensign that he gave to me - redeeming his rather unseemly remonstrations from earlier.

Yacht pounding upwind 1 A large sailing sloop under power going from St. Martin to St. Barths at speed and against the waves. Here she's lifting up and in the other shot she's landed.
[17°59'55.14"N 63°1'58.89"W (facing SW)]
Yacht pounding upwind 1
Yacht pounding upwind 2 A large sailing sloop under power going from St. Martin to St. Barths at speed and against the waves. Here she's landed and she's lifting up in the previous shot.
[17°59'55.14"N 63°1'58.89"W (facing SW)]
Yacht pounding upwind 2
Philipsburg cruiseships Cruise ships, all over 900 feet, at the docks in Philipsburg, St. Martin.
[18°0'44.36"N 63°3'29.89"W (facing E)]
Philipsburg cruiseships
Cruiseships and sailboats in Philipsburg Racing sloops filled with passengers from the cruise ships at the Philipsburg docks.
[18°0'41.43"N 63°3'33.45"W (facing E)]
Cruiseships and sailboats in Philipsburg
KLM 747 takeoff sandblast The KLM Boeing 747 jumbo taking off at the end of the St. Martin runway, sandblasting and blowing those foolhardy souls on the beach into the water.
[18°2'12.07"N 63°7'21.17"W (facing NE)]
KLM 747 takeoff sandblast
Villas on the St. Martin coast The coastline close to Philipsburg in St. Martin is craggy and steep but there are some wonderful villas built into the slopes.
(2012-01-24 16:57:55 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/7.1, 1/160s] ISO 100 Focus ∞)
Villas on the St. Martin coast
Saint Martin resorts The large resorts on the coastline of St. Martin, close to the airport, are impressive in scope and very different from the establishments on the French side.
(2012-01-24 18:58:32 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/7.1, 1/160s] ISO 100 Focus ∞)
Saint Martin resorts
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