St Marten – finally a French island!

As students in Ontario, Canada, a long, long time ago, we were forced to take French language lessons up to and including grade 10, or the second year of high school. Perhaps I should have paid more attention while in class……

Marigot Bay, St. Martin

Marigot Bay, St. Martin

Marigot Bay is a great place to anchor. While passing s/v Kelly Nicole on the way out, we discovered that s/v Sandy Feet was still at anchor, but just about to make way. We hailed them on the VHF, and after exchanging excited pleasantries, the captain and crew of Sandy Feet told us that they would love to join us for a cup of coffee before heading out! Alright!!! Coffee grinder on, get the BIG cups out, and lets get caught up! Andy, Laura, Natalie and Alexa soon joined us on Moorahme. These people are awesome, I’ve told you that before, and you can look them google them – “Sandy Feet – Voyages of Adventure”….swimming with sharks, exploring old Caribbean forts…they are the bomb! We had a great hour with these folks, Andy and Laura ensured that we had some wifi passwords to use with our wifi extender to give us onboard wifi, and boom! they were off ahead of us again!

Customs was not available until Monday morning. So, first thing Monday morning we headed ashore to fill out the appropriate paperwork on a computer..with a French keyboard, which made things challenging. Finally, paperwork complete, no charges…free….no fees…….yahooooooo! Back to Moorahme, raise the courtesy flag now we are legal…and off we go!

Raising the French flag

Raising the French flag

Fresh baguettes, fresh croissants….French wine, cold beer, French women..ooops, didn’t mean to mention that<grin>

Coffee and a crepe - mmm, French food

Coffee and a crepe – mmm, French food

We dinghied in to the inside lagoon, had a nice but somewhat pricey breakfast, and then a walking tour of the downtown area. Formidable! Hey, that’s French for wow! We tried to enter a higher end wine store..but it was closed. And speaking of closed…don’t try to really do anything from 11:30 a.m. until at least 3:30 p.m., everything is closed…for lunch, nooners…whatever. What a wonderful lifestyle!IMG_3389

We discovered that a buddy boat from the Dominican Republic had discovered a great deal on bottom paint on the Dutch side…..Phillipsburg..of this island which is divided….French and Dutch. Once checked in on either side, you can easily travel back and forth between the two. S/V Neko was in the lagoon on the Dutch side, and we joined them for dinner one night. Peter and Mary are awesome hosts, and we had quite a time finding our way back to Moorahme in the dark…..lol….but we did find our way home eventually. More tours of the downtown area of St. Marten, a few trips to the

at Lagoonies with Kathy and Ken

at Lagoonies with Kathy and Ken

Dutch side to purchase our bottom paint and other such “boatie” items, and of course, a trip to the airport.

Plane landing - seemed close enough to touch!

Plane landing – seemed close enough to touch!

My goodness, what fun! Too bad that the area at the end of the runway has been fenced off, because I was truly looking forward to hanging on to the chain link fence such as you see on youtube.com when a large transatlantic jet was taking off. Not to be…I was satisfied with great food and cold beer and watching the frolickers on the beach.

Waiting to get blown down the sand bank by jet plane exhaust

Waiting to get blown down the sand bank by jet plane exhaust

Our tour of the fort overlooking St. Marten and Marigot Bay was pretty cool…it is disappointing that more care and $$$ are not spent on keeping this historic fort in good condition, but it is what it is.

Climbing the stairs to the fort

Climbing the stairs to the fort

That's our boat down there

That’s our boat down there

I am just very happy that we were not the tourists that were robbed on a Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. while viewing this splendid old fort. Another couple were not so fortunate.

It's quite a view up here!!

It’s quite a view up here!!

IMG_3380IMG_3384

St. Marten/Phillipsburg quickly became one of our favourite locations to visit, and we can’t wait to return there once hurrycame season is over.

Keep your stick on the ice!

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