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OFF AGAIN January 11, 2016

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Caribbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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The weather is suppose to slowly settle down. By the 3rd it is actually calming down a bit. Seas from 9 feet to 6 feet. That is a good start. On the 5th we moved back to Jolly Harbor to stage for our trip to St Martin. We will do an overnight on this 18 hour trip. We have always stopped at an island somewhere in between to make the trip in 2 days. The navigator decided we could save a day by doing an overnight. I concurred.

We want to do more overnights, which are usually around 80-90 miles and cut off stopping at places we have been and either checking in and out through customs or “Yellow Flagging” the island. Yellow Flagging is quasi legal. Most of the islands do not care, but some want that tax dollar and check either at night or at first light. The Dutch side of St Martine and St Bart’s are two that come to mind.

The stop in St Martin is more of a repair and maintenance stop. It is a duty free island and that saves some money. It has machine shops, welding shops, rigging shops ,electrical shops, etc. All with great workmanship. Plus it has two good marine stores. If you order stuff, air freight is only .70/lb. Ships used to be great. They ran every other day from Miami. Now with the oil critics and things slowing down on the islands they only run the ships once a week. That puts you 2 weeks to get a shipment.

We wanted to go to Marigot Baie on the French side. It was only 7 Euros forever to check in. It was not supposed to be, but Customs had decided not to collect the fees that run you $40/ week, like the Dutch side. Well, the first thing we find out is we can not check in where we used to and its 7 Euro fee, but had to go to the ferry terminal with everyone else checking in. You guest it, 40 Euros/week. Secondly there were to be a northern swell and the bay is open to the north. And finally it is about a 45 minute dinghy ride to the end of the lagoon where all the shops and stores are located. So, we moved back to Simpson bay on the Dutch side.

We were here last year when we got stuck by 6 weeks of Christmas winds. The first week here was fine, then the winds started and the seas built and started coming into the bay. Within 12 hours it went from rolly to scary. We then moved into the Lagoon.

These seas are from a semi-tropical storm in the middle of the Atlantic. They are to be 9 foot by tomorrow and then start down. The wind has us beam on to the swell that is coming over the reef. We have things to do daily and have to run around in the dinghy. If it gets a little more rolly, we will move. Do not need to try to get into the dinghy in 4 foot seas. The poor mate fell getting into the dinghy a week ago and hurt her back. Do not need to beat her up any further.

Even in the boat you get very tired. Constant moving and when you move around you are bouncing off the bulkheads and furniture. Even in bed, you are rolling 3-4 degrees each direction, all the time. You brace yourself as best you can, but the mattress still moves under you. Not the best of sleep.

We are hoping to be out of here by the weekend. We will do another overnight and go to St Croix in the USVI. St Croix is off the beaten path so we missed it going to the islands. It is supposed to be an interesting island and we may spend a week there. Or we may be stuck here with weather and/or waiting parts.

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