Wednesday, April 3, 2013

St. Maarten Continued...

The rainbow welcoming Martin and crew to St. Maarten last week.
I meant to post these pictures on my last post but the internet was intermittent and I couldn't get the photos to post.  These are photos of when Martin and his crew came into St. Maarten and were met with a double rainbow, saw a whale splashing in the water and had dolphins swimming off Amara's bow.  You can't ask for a better welcome after a long Atlantic crossing.
The draw bridge coming into the harbor of St. Maarten.
Last week was kind of a blur for me.  I have learned quickly that there aren't enough hours in the day when it comes to getting a boat ready for another passage.

On Thursday of last week, all 7 of my boxes from the US came safely to our dock.  We used Crowley Shipping  and I can't say enough about them as they held my hand the whole way in getting these boxes to St. Maarten.  Once they arrived, Martin and Patrice managed to get them delivered straight to the boat where I happily dug in and started dismantling each box.  I wish I had photos but I was too excited to see them arrive and couldn't wait to start unpacking.
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On Friday of last week, Patrice had to leave us to go back to his family in France.  I could see the spring in his step as his departure grew closer.  He was very anxious to get back to them—I didn't blame him.  I am sure it was a wonderful homecoming when he finally made it home in time to spend Easter Sunday with his entire extended family.
Patrice as he is preparing to leave us and fly home to his family in France.
We had really come to rely on Patrice and his ability as a captain.  It was hard to see him go since he had grown to become such a good friend to Martin and to me.  He was an exceptional captain and we can't say enough about his expertise and knowledge and are so grateful to have met him by happen chance on the Mediterranean last fall.  We already miss him but are sure that our paths will cross again in the future.  In May, Patrice plans to come back to St. Maarten to sail his boat (currently docked in St. Maarten) back to France.

Thank you, Patrice for all you have done for us and in getting Amara safely across the Atlantic.
Goodbye, Patrice!
Where one chapter closes, another one opens.  Now, on to a new captain!  Anticipating Patrice's departure in St. Maarten, Martin and I were able to secure a wonderful crew while Martin was crossing the Atlantic. We had them fly in from Australia the day before Patrice was to leave St. Maarten so that he could do a transfer of knowledge with them.  I am sure it was like a fire hose (with a French accent ;) of information for them.  Introducing them will come in a later post.  I think I should give them a little chance to breath before I start snapping photos of them going about their business in getting Amara ready for our next passage to Panama.
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The harbor at St. Barts.
On Saturday, Martin, Lily and I took a break from boat maintenance and took a 70-minute ferry over to St. Barts to watch the St. Barts Bucket Regatta.  It was rather funny, because as we boarded the ferry, I watched everyone get on the boat with food and drinks in hand.  Slowly, over the course of the trip, Martin and I watched tourists getting up and staggering to the back of the ferry.  Pretty soon, it was just us and a few locals still sitting in our seats.  Unfortunately, we didn't leave unscathed either.  Poor little Lily didn't find her sea legs fast enough and lost her breakfast before the end of the trip.  
Poor little Lily in the rain.
Upon arriving to St. Barts, we were met by a torrential downpour and had just missed the beginning of the race.  (Just our luck!)  We stood under a nearby gazebo as the rain poured buckets of water all around us.  All we could do was just look at each other and start laughing because, of course, the circumstances of our arrival seemed appropriate.  I mean, I was expecting to take in the beginning of a fancy race and visit a fancy island in my fancy clothes.  Instead, I stood under the gazebo with my hair and clothes soaking wet having missed the beginning of the regatta.

Finally, after about an hour, the rain finally dissipated and Martin and I were able to climb to a part of the island to watch the races.

After watching the races for awhile, we decided to explore the island and went over to Nikki beach and enjoyed the beautiful beaches and scenery.

After a lovely day at the beach, we went back to the other side of the island and watched the J-class boats come into the harbor at the end of the regatta.  It was amazing to see these huge, beautiful vessals come in and line up in the harbor.

At the end of the race, the boat that came in last, seemed to draw the biggest crowd since their music was blaring from their speakers and the crew was dancing on the spreaders and decks.  We really got a kick out watching them and loved the break from a rather somewhat stuffy event.  
To put a cherry on top of the end of what turned out to be a very eventful day, we got to see this little lady as she strolled down the streets.  
Next time I visit St. Barts, I'll remember to wear my white linen with a little splash of yellow.