Mark from Sea Life dropped by at 8AM, shortly after the morning VHF network, to have a coffee in preparation for us heading over to Oyster Pond with Neil and Ross to pick up the charter catamaran that was destined to become the start boat for the Heineken Regatta. We had loaded 100 feet of galvanized anchor chain which we were to add to the existing chain in order to be able to anchor in deep water, should the races require that and fortunately Leo's truck had room for that plus the 5 of us. Once at the docks we had our first little hiccup, the anchor chain on the cat was much smaller than what we had brought and our connecting link would quite fit. After many attempts it was finally matched up and pounded into place. Mark got the quickie run-through of the catamaran's systems and although we were ready to go we didn't have a dinghy and it too quite some time to get that delivered. Exiting Oyster Pond, with a good Atlantic swell and 15-20 knots of wind was an eye opener for me and I can understand why Sunsail/Moorings guides the boats in and out, since many a charter guest (and other sailors such as myself) would have pretty high blood pressure coming out of there. Once clear of the rocks and reefs we set our mainsail (the jib was safely stored below since we had no furler mechanism) and actually managed 6-8 knots on a broad reach and subsequent downwind run. Once outside the Dutch bridge we tested to see if our larger anchor chain would correctly lift the chain off the bottom, which it did, and then picked up a mooring. After our two colleagues left Mark had us untie from the mooring and practiced figure 8s, both in forward gear and in reverse, around two markers to get a feel for the boat before we picked up our mooring again and then repaired to the drinks at the bar that we'd earned during the course of the day.
After returning aboard I got some dinner out of the freezer and read a book while it thawed sufficiently to allow me to plop it on the BBQ. It tasted quite good, and since I'm not a good cook it meant that I'd worked sufficiently that day to make me need some nourishment.

Chain extension for the start boat Just like a hair extension, just a bit heavier! This 100 foot of chain is needed to allow sufficient scope for the deep waters in the start area.
(2015-03-03 09:04:04 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/3.5, 1/160s] ISO 100)
Chain extension for the start boat
Building the set for the Heineken Regatta Volunteers hard at work setting up the venue at the SMYC for the Heineken Regatta.
(2015-03-03 09:05:37 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/3.5, 1/125s] ISO 100)
Building the set for the Heineken Regatta
Setting up booths for the Heineken These booths were being set up in the morning and by the time we returned from out boat delivery in the afternoon they had been set up and filled with swag for the racers.
(2015-03-03 09:04:35 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/3.5, 1/2500s] ISO 100)
Setting up booths for the Heineken
New and old chain The rusty and thin chain belongs on the committee catamaran while the new and somewhat oversized chain is our 100 foot extension which needed to be added to the anchor end of the original.
(2015-03-03 10:04:25 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/3.5, 1/500s] ISO 100)
New and old chain
Mark attempting to mate the chains Although he'd brought a connecting link along, the original chain is of much smaller diameter and that made it a difficult task.
(2015-03-03 10:04:31 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/4.8, 1/200s] ISO 100)
Mark attempting to mate the chains
Leo hard at work on the chain After both Mark and I had given up on getting the connecting link together on the two different chain sizes, Leo took over and was able to get it together shortly after this picture was taken.
(2015-03-03 10:25:55 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/13.0, 1/60s] ISO 100)
Leo hard at work on the chain
Mark hoisting the Mainsail in Oyster Pond The mainsail needs to be hoisted prior to departing Oyster Pond and difficult channel; just in case the engine decides to take a break at an inopportune moment.
(2015-03-03 12:04:56 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/13.0, 1/40s] ISO 100)
Mark hoisting the Mainsail in Oyster Pond
Neil, Ross and Mark delivering Neil, Ross and Mark at the wheel while navigating the narrow channel at Oyster Pond in St. Martin.
(2015-03-03 12:14:17 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/13.0, 1/160s] ISO 100)
Neil, Ross and Mark delivering
Oyster Pond channel The narrow and, in parts, shallow entrance channel to Oyster Pond with the waves breaking to the left and right of the narrow path can be daunting.
(2015-03-03 12:08:43 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/13.0, 1/125s] ISO 100)
Oyster Pond channel
Four big boys in town Four medium and large cruise ships at Philipsburg in Sint Maarten.
(2015-03-03 13:01:40 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/13.0, 1/80s] ISO 100)
Four big boys in town
Day-trippers at Little Bay in Sint Maarten Little Bay is just outside of Philipsburg and is a popular snorkeling day trip location.
(2015-03-03 13:08:41 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/13.0, 1/50s] ISO 100)
Day-trippers at Little Bay in Sint Maarten
Snorkeling at Little Bay A popular snorkeling destination on St. Marti, Little Bay also has refreshments on sale.
(2015-03-03 13:05:42 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/13.0, 1/50s] ISO 100)
Snorkeling at Little Bay
Which way do we go? Three experienced sailors with different ideas in which direction to travel. Luckily I took the shot, as I would have been pointing behind us...
(2015-03-03 13:01:06 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/13.0, 1/80s] ISO 100)
Which way do we go?
Beam reach on a cat Although we had only a mainsail up (the jib was missing some parts), we still did a respectable 6-7 knots in about 20 knots of breeze.
(2015-03-03 13:03:25 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/13.0, 1/30s] ISO 100)
Beam reach on a cat
Arnd and Mark on catamaran delivery Mark skippering the Committee Boat "A" from Oyster Pond to Simpson Bay for the Heineken Regatta.
(2015-03-03 13:02:49 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/13.0, 1/60s] ISO 100)
Arnd and Mark on catamaran delivery
Daysailing in Sint Maarten Daysailors having fun in the 20 knots of breeze around Philipsburg in Sint Maarten.
(2015-03-03 13:04:16 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/13.0, 1/125s] ISO 100)
Daysailing in Sint Maarten
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