Leaving Sint Maarten For Saba, Ile Fourchue And Antigua

Yesterday we dinghied through the lagoon, under the Dutch bridge, then the one in the middle of the lagoon, visited ‘Heymede’ to say hello to Taryna and continued to the French side. We checked the Marigot Bay side of the island, which is a lovely turquoise and tied up at Shrimpy’s Laundry and Yacht Services. We met Mike, who runs the daily net, found a good supermarket and stocked up on French wine and food.

Tight Fit - Rather The Skipper Than Me!

It is cheaper to clear into the French side of the island and as they use Euros over there, it is much better to make purchases there too. Back on the Dutch side, we met ‘Merlin’ for sundowners and watched a huge motor yacht squeezing through the bridge, right next to the Yacht Club. It was an impressive sight with just inches to spare each side but they didn’t even need to drop the enormous fenders down.

The Widest Bit Squeezing Through The Bridge

This morning we had breakfast at a lovely French patisserie, selling beautiful pastries, bread and cakes. They also do proper breakfasts, crepes and galettes. Next we hopped on one of many buses running along the main road and for just over 5 pounds return got a quick tour of the south of the island, on our way to visit Philipsburg. This is where the cruise ships dock and of course this means umbrellas on the beach, countless bars and restaurants, stalls and duty free shops.

The Philipsburg Court House

We also found a couple of more interesting historic buildings but on the whole it is a tourist trap. Within the hour we were back on another minibus, which run very often and have their destination in big letters on the front. This time we headed for Marigot, as Simpson Bay in en route and got a photo of the bay out of the window. David and Donna have kindly invited us to dinner tonight and to meet their kitten ‘Coco’, so we picked up some chocolate brownies and a baguette for our hosts. It is good to be back in the French islands for some decent bread!

Cruise Ships In - Umbrellas Out

Next I cleared us out, leaving us 24 hours to sail off to our next port of call. We have decided, with the wind direction being easterly, to visit Saba, an island we have only sailed by in the past. It is very small, very steep sided and has just a couple of anchorages, which reputedly are unprotected and rolly in even a slight swell. It is calm at the moment, an ideal time to stop there.

Simpson Bay & Lagoon

After a day touring Saba we will head back north-east to Ile Fourchue in the south-easterly winds for a couple of nights, before sailing overnight on March 25-26 to Antigua when the wind becomes more north-easterly. That’s the plan, once again subject to changes in weather! I do have to be in Antigua for Monday evening’s flight to the UK though, so we haven’t a lot more time to mess about. Rob says he can take ‘Beyzano’ from Jolly Harbour to Falmouth on his own if we don’t manage to make it round there but I’d prefer to get them both settled and safe in the anchorage before I leave.

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One Response to Leaving Sint Maarten For Saba, Ile Fourchue And Antigua

  1. Gwyneth says:

    Haven’t looked at your blog recently so thought it was time l ‘caught up’. Just so interesting to read about your plans to visit mainland USA. Where have you decided to buy your UK home? I am busy here with a major refurb of my study and also decorators coming in next week. I will be very happy to get it all sorted – the paper shredder is working overtime! Have 3 Cruises booked – June a European river cruise: July to Canary Islands: and then a month in The Med in September.
    Lovely day here for the first day of Spring with lots of Daffodils flowering.
    Enjoy your birthday and trip to UK. Love to you both. Gwyneth

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