On to Philipsburg
Imagine the swarm of flies that a 2-day bit of roadkill might have surrounding it. Now substitute ZTC for the deceased animal and Seadoos (personal watercraft) for the flies. You now have an idea of what the anchorage at Philipsburg, the capital of Dutch Sint Maarten, is like. And yes, I think the parallel is accurate! Why the people who rent these things don’t tell the tourists to not buzz close by the yachts at anchor is beyond me.
As usual we made an early-morning decision to move our boat, now having grown tired of life in Simpson Bay Lagoon. We made our rounds to all of our friends’ boats to say so long and made quick preparations to get underway. Our new windlass worked flawlessly, once I got the clutch figured out but our moving the boat was not without significant drama. I spoke before about how the bridge operators cajole boat captains into moving up very close to the yet-to-raise bridge. This morning was no different in this respect and we found ourselves at the front of the line for the 11:00 AM opening. The challenge was holding our position just off the bridge with a 15-25 knot breeze blowing us down onto it. Just as the bridge started to open we lost it and ended up almost beam to the bridge, being pushed closer and closer. The channel is narrow, we had rocks to our bow and stern with hardly any room to maneuver. Was I stressed? That is an understatement! I seriously thought we were about to total the boat. At the last second, with port engine full astern and starboard engine full ahead, I was able to spin the boat and get it aligned to safely transit the bridge. As we did the bridge tender yells sarcastically to Rebecca “Thank you very much.” It’s a good thing she told me that when we were a couple miles away… I so wanted to punch that guy in the face. If we’re ever put in a position like that again I will tell the operator of the bridge to $%#^ Off and that I’ll move our boat close when it’s safe to do so!
Anyway, that drama is now behind us and we’re here to enjoy Philipsburg for a couple of days, in spite of the swarms of flies, I mean Seadoos. Another day in paradise. 🙂