St Martin: Reunited
April 24, 2021
As planned, I landed in St Martin last Wednesday in a rainy afternoon. Antares was on the water when I got to the yard but without her mast. The poor boat was a mess and I knew when I boarded that it would take longer than expected to get her ready for the passage to Grenada. She was dirty; the varnish on the rails was in a lamentable condition; there were pieces of equipment all over the deck; the main cabin was filled with sails, sheets, and the pole; and the head was not working. But she was floating, the bilge was clean, and there were no signs of cockroaches or other insects or rodents. So instead of feeling despair, I felt content; it’s good to be back.
I spent the afternoon cleaning and putting some order in the main cain and the V-berth so that I could unpack and settle-in. I also went to the store across the street to buy some groceries, including milk for my coffee and orange juice. There was no need to by gin because I found a bottle in the boat plus, a another one of scotch, two bottles of wine, tonic water and regular water. By 5pm I was siping G&T sitting at the bow. I didn’t go out that night opting instead to open a can of cassoulet and dine in the main cabin. I turned in early and slept like a log.
The mast was installed only yesterday and it was stressful to watch. The windex broke off and after the mast was in place a guy had to be winched up to replace it. Then came the rigger to tighten the various wires. Antares is looking good with her rigging in place. The dingy, which had gone to a repair shop on Thursday because it was losing air, also came back yesterday.
Thursday and Friday I went our for dinner after having my usual G&T. The first night at La Petite Auberge and the second at Tropicana, both located around Marina Royale. Highly recommended. Otherwise, I have spent the days preparing the boat and doing some work. This morning Pierro, the carpenter who works at the yard, and his assistant came to varnish the port rail of the boat. I will take care of the teak around the stern and the starboard rail can wait until I get to Grenada.
Tomorrow I will set the sails; a neighbor here at the boat yard has offered to help me. I will also inflate and try the dingy. Monday I have somebody coming to check the batteries, I might have to replace them. I will also buy new jerry cans, diesel, and gasoline, and fill the water tanks. Unfortunately, it seems that I can only refill the propane tank on Wednesday. In any case, I plan to leave on Thursday.
On another note, I have been following Webb Chiles trip around Bermuda. This morning the tracker showed that mid-way he has turned around; he seems to be going back. Something must have happened but I hope he is doing well.