I finally made it out of St. Martin today - although St. Barths is only a short sail away and is also French so it almost doesn't count; but I made it nonetheless. I had seen that the weather conditions were boisterous out in the channel despite a relatively calm anchorage so got the boat ready for heavy sailing and also too the dinghy engine off the mounts and stored it, and everything else that was in the dinghy, inside the garage and put two reefs in the genoa and a bit more in the mainsail and set off. The winds were gusting up to 25 knots out there although they were under 20 most of the time so I kept my conservative sail plan and sailed with 6 to 8 knots in relative comfort. The waves were a good 2 meters plus so occasionally Zanshin and myself got a good splashing.
I chose my departure time well, since as I walked forward I noticed that my anchor snubber was looking frayed and when I relieved the strain on it by pulling up the anchor I saw that it was held on by merely two strands and in another couple of minutes I would have lost it to the abyssal depths (all of 12 feet). That had happened to me before in 20 feet in Falmouth harbour but the water there was so murky that I never found the snubber despite diving for it. As I'd departed after lunchtime, I decided to sail to Île Fourchue and overnight there rather than go all the way to Gustavia and when I arrived there around 16:00 I was surprised to see how full the anchorage was and I followed a Sunsail catamaran in. They puttered about and I had to wait since I wanted to anchor behind them, but I finally gave up on waiting and anchored in 25 feet relatively far out and set the anchor ball. I watched their antics as they almost collided with an anchored boat while trying to drop their anchor and realized that I didn't wish to be downwind of them, so weighed anchor and moved to another part of the anchorage and anchored there and once again set the anchor ball. By this time the whole anchorage was being entertained by the catamaran and I believe that they finally succeeded in bumping into the anchored boat. In the end someone came over in a dinghy to assist them and the crew of the boat that had been hit zipped in from the beach and lifted up their anchor to disappear. In the end a mooring ball freed up and the catamaran was assisted in getting a ball for the evening.
I was pretty far outside of the inner anchorage and the boat was rolling around a bit, but I thought it would settle. I made some bread dough so that I'd have some for dinner and then watched the sun set as my dough was rising. Once it was ready and I turned on the oven I also used the ground beef that was borderline edible to make the base of a pasta sauce by simmering it for a while. In the end I added tomato paste and enough spices to turn it into a kind of chili sauce when I ended up eating with a couple of slices of the fresh bread. Since the burn on my right thumb had just healed, it was time to add a bad and painful burn on my left thumb from pulling the hot bread out of the oven, the cloth had slipped aside as I grabbed the tray and my thumb gripped and sizzled for a split second before I was hopping around the galley uttering expletives.
The roll got more pronounced after dark and I saw that a mooring ball had freed up, but after the meal and a postprandial glass of single malt I decided that I shouldn't operate heavy machinery and opted to stay where I was for the rest of the night.

Megayacht at Tintamarre I didn't get the name of this big ketch anchored off Ile Tintamarre as I sailed past, but she is quite elegant and pretty.
(2014-02-23 13:57:28 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/6.3, 1/800s] ISO 100)
Megayacht at Tintamarre
Some guests atop the high point behind the beach on Ile Fourchue on St. Barths.
(2014-02-23 17:22:34 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/5.3, 1/640s] ISO 100)
Frayed anchor snubber The anchor snubber had frayed so badly that it was only held on by 2 strands! I'm lucky I got it in time before it fell off.
(2014-02-23 16:13:01 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/6.3, 1/250s] ISO 100)
Frayed anchor snubber
Temporary snubber A temporary fix to the frayed anchor snubber until I get some new line and splice it to order.
(2014-02-23 17:24:31 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/10.0, 1/125s] ISO 100)
Temporary snubber
Fourchue anchorage Boats anchored in the lee side of Ile Fourchue, belonging to St. Barths.
(2014-02-23 17:24:11 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/5.6, 1/640s] ISO 100)
Fourchue anchorage
Frayed towline The dinghy towline is looking frayed, but this is just the last two tucks of the eye splice coming undone and a short got with a knife and an open flame will sort that out.
(2014-02-23 17:26:43 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/16.0, 1/60s] ISO 100)
Frayed towline
Sunset from Ile Fourchue The sun setting behind the little islands seen from the anchorage at Ile Fourchue of St. Barths.
(2014-02-23 18:09:53 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/13.0, 1/250s] ISO 100)
Sunset from Ile Fourchue
Big ketch at dusk A large ketch coming around the corner after sunset with full sails.
(2014-02-23 18:17:37 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/6.3, 1/40s] ISO 100)
Big ketch at dusk
Ile Fourchue panorama Panoramic view from the boat anchored at Ile Fourchue in St. Barths.
(2014-02-23 17:21:48 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/6.3, 1/400s] ISO 100)
Ile Fourchue panorama
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