Today's morning VHF network was augmented by a subsequent Maintenance Net where today's topic was VHF radio and the typical installation and usage problems. It was hosted by a gentleman (whose name I didn't note) who is an ex-commercial radio and HAM radio person and whose comments were very interesting to listen to, describing the usual suspects when it comes to spotty and unclear transmissions. After that tutorial I got my shopping list together and proceeded to zip across the long distance with my newly repaired engine mount. Just before entering the French channel my motor went from running smoothly to dead and when I pulled the starter it would idle but as soon as I gave gas it would die again. Although I had about 15 feet or so of rope and chain on my dinghy anchor, I don't know if I had enough depth and a dinghy (powered by a 18HP engine) came by and offered to tow me inside where the waters were calmer and I accepted, tying off at Shrimpy's dock and I removed the cowling, pushed and pulled around the engine, and after a couple of pulls it started right up again, so I don't know what could have caused my problem.
I took a short break at Mau, which turned into an hour and almost into lunch, and Bernd thought it might have been water in the fuel system. As I was leaving the crew from Nomad dropped by, so it seems that Carmen and Bernd were destined not to get any work done today. I made it to the chandlery and got the stainless metal pieces so I could fabricate a lift system for my dinghy and get it out of the water at night and thus make it more difficult for potential thieves to get at. In addition, the bottom of the dinghy could finally dry out and I'd lose the additional friction of that large area of green Steppe.
I'm back aboard now and the wind has picked up quite a bit (which doesn't bother Zanshin much, but was enough to raise the waves in the anchorage enough to soak me on the dinghy ride back. I am not sure if I should weigh anchor and head to Grand Case, to remain where I am and work on splicing, or to dinghy ashore and clear out of France with destination either St. Eustatius or perhaps St. Barths. Considering the winds and resulting waves at sea, Saba is no option this week. So while I am trying to make up my mind as to what to do, I made a up of cappuccino and fired up the notebook; writing these very words for this day's blog entry.
I ended up staying in place and not clearing out, I did go ashore to get some bread at La Sucrière and then returned to the boat for the rest of the day. I wanted to start working on the hoist mechanism for the dinghy but didn't get around to that before it got dark.

Highfield Dinghies These two Highfield dinghies bracket the size I really want, the one on the left is huge, but too big for my requirements and the one on the right is just a bit too small.
(2014-02-19 13:26:56 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/3.5, 1/1600s] ISO 160)
Highfield Dinghies
Marigot sunset The sun setting over the hills of the lowlands in St. Martin.
(2014-02-19 18:09:52 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/6.3, 1/800s] ISO 100)
Marigot sunset
Raymarine C120 chartplotter The chartplotter on Zanshin (turned off) - a Raymarine C120 which is hooked up to the rest of the navigation equipment.
(2014-02-19 18:03:55 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/5.6, 1/50s] ISO 100)
Raymarine C120 chartplotter
Marigot boat panorama A sunset panorama from the boat taken from the boat.
(2014-02-19 18:03:34 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/5.6, 1/125s] ISO 100)
Marigot boat panorama
Sun about to set over St. Martin Golden St. Martin sunset
(2014-02-19 18:07:18 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/16.0, 1/400s] ISO 140)
Sun about to set over St. Martin
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