Little time to play
Yesterday was one of those days. I just had a bit of deja vu… have I said that recently about another day? It wouldn’t surprise me if I had. Anyway, from the moment we arose yesterday we were off and running. You’ll note that there was no blog post. That is a result of too many things to do and too little internet connectivity. I just couldn’t afford the hour or so sitting in a restaurant to get something relevant online. Here is a brief summary of how our last few days have panned out though.
With Budget Marine and Ace Hardware in close proximity to where we’re anchored (anything is close when you have a fast dinghy — those with a non-planing dinghy might think otherwise), we have spent a lot of time shopping for all the right bits of kit for the boat. Hand in hand with that I have been working on some repairs, most notably the autopilot. Finding a length of stainless steel roller chain is something that you’d be hard pressed to do in just about any island other than St. Maarten. Not surprisingly, one of the marine businesses here, FKG did actually have a piece long enough for us to make our repairs. Curious about what something like that costs? $43.00 per foot, and you had to buy a four foot length of it! When you’re desperate though, what are you going to do? I’m just happy that they had it.
Now, where do we put all of this stuff?
We’ve made a few trips up the mast to deal with some lighting issues and we’ve been tweaking our new grill table to make sure it functions just as we want it to. Hand in hand with all that dirty stuff, we (Rebecca primarily) have been working hard to find just the right place for all of our new gear.
For example, the port forward pipe berth is from this point forward to be known as the playroom. It is stacked floor to ceiling with paddleboards, paddles, snorkeling gear, pool noodles. beach chairs and umbrellas, PFDs for water sports, inflatable tow tubes and more. I can’t wait for the time when WE actually have a chance to try out all this new cool stuff!
In addition to the excellent shopping here in St. Maarten, we were very happy to be able to connect with a couple of our internet friends, Jim and Sherry on s/v Dulcinea. We have long been in contact with one another but due to some mechanical issues on their part, they have been stuck in the leeward islands all season. They, and our other friends Jeff and Marie from s/v Delphine, joined Rebecca and I on One Love to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving. Rebecca even prepared a turkey dinner for us, and it rocked! Alas, both Dulcinea and Delphine left yesterday, heading west towards the BVI. We opted to remain behind to a) complete a few shopping projects (we actually had to walk back to Ace Hardware* to return over $500.00 worth of shower fixtures that wouldn’t fit) and b) wait for a bit of wind. If we were traveling east from the BVI to SXM, I would have jumped at a no-wind day like yesterday to move the boat. Going west though, I’d rather have at least a bit of wind so that we don’t end up motoring the entire way. And since we’re just working on the boat, we can pretty much do that anywhere. We do plan to clear out with customs and immigration today so that we can head west tomorrow. Where on ZTC we would have done the trip from here to the BVI as an overnighter, One Love’s increased speed allows us to make the same trip in daylight hours, something both of us prefer.
We’re looking forward to spending American Thanksgiving with our first charter guests!
*I think I’ve mentioned this before but the difference in service between Budget Marine and Ace Hardware is astronomical. Among other things, Ace actually took a shot at telling me that they wouldn’t refund the money on our Visa card but would instead only give me a store credit. Why? Because I was not returning the items the same day they were purchased! It was, however, less than 24 hours from the time that we purchased them. As you might guess, there was no way I was going to let that fly… we got our refund. Be aware of their “policy” should you choose to shop there.
Budget Marine, on the other hand, treats us like family. All of the staff are friendly, helpful and knowledgable, they offer us coffee while we’re shopping, group together the gear that we need if I send them a list in advance and even lend us a vehicle so that we can go shopping at “the other place.” Night and day!