In St Martin we worked on the boat, we met more Brazilians vessels than during the rest of our trip, and we had our Portuguese friends back on Ipanema again.
St Martin breathes sailing culture. There are lots of sail boats anchored in the French side, inside the lagoon and on the Dutch side.
This place is known to be a good place to do boat maintenance, but since we had done most of the work in St. Lucia we just did minor adjustments here.
Our engines have not been giving us much trouble lately (fortunately), so we only serviced the generator and water maker here in St Martin. We also sourced spare parts for the boat since there are many boat shops around. Unfortunately, this place is similar to the rest of the Northern Caribbean, things are super expensive: boat parts, food and we also had to pay a daily fee to be anchored as well as high clearance fees. Spend, spend, spend is the name of the game as we keep sailing.
One curious thing about this place is that we met more Brazilian boats here than during our entire trip. There were four. First we met Ricardo, a super cool captain who leads an amazing boat called Pilar Rossi. Then we met an experienced sailing couple who has been in this life for quite a while now: Dorival and Catarina. They built their own boat (Luthier) in Brazil, a project from Cabinho. Finally we met two younger Brazilian surfers who are also chasing waves around the world: Tássio and his boat Yo-Yo and Felipe and his boat Wahoo. These two had their boats hauled out for maintenance. It is great to find Brazilians around the world.
Here we also met a Swiss couple, Pesche and Franchesca, who sailed side by side with us during the Atlantic crossing for a couple days. What are the odds? With two very different boats, without adjusting sails or course, we sailed side by side, back and forth, for 3-4 days across the Atlantic. Now we finally met and invited them for a Moqueca dinner on our boat. What a nice couple.
The other day we went to the local bakery and left a baguette in their boat. Next morning, we woke up and had freshly backed croissants waiting for us on our deck outside. Unfortunately we did not get to taste them. Guess who was up early and was the first one to find them and had the most amazing buttery breakfast of his life? “Much better than those flying fishes I would find on the deck during the Atlantic Crossing – says Feijão”
Needless to say that now the little bugger has developed a great taste for breads. Yesterday, while we slept, he stole a baguette from the kitchen counter; by the time we woke up he had eaten half of it. We gave him a really hard time when we saw it. The poor thing was all sad and disappeared for a while. The boat is not that big, we searched and searched for him… only to find him sleeping inside one of the cabinets below our sofa outside where we keep all our diving gear. We burst out laughing… he is hilarious. What a dog…. We love this clumsy little chubby thing.
As soon as the boat was completely ready, two Portuguese couples, friends of ours from our days in the Algarve, arrived to spend a week with us: Paulo and Rosario Bronze (the parents of would famous Bart the Bull) and Pedro and Alexandra Saldanha Lopes.
They had a lot more energy than us and than all of our previous guests, we spent the week hoping around different snorkeling spots.
While Sarah and I tried to stay away from Great Barracudas, they were trying to get closer and closer to get the perfect shot. If their huge mouths were opened with those massive teeth exposed, even better… crazy Portuguese…
The six of us enjoyed ourselves and snorkeled around Marigot, Roche Creole, Anse Marcel and Ile Tintamarre. After we had explored St Martin a bit we decided to move on to Anguilla, a less developed and less visited destination, just north of St Martin.
By this time, the wind had picked up quite a bit and it was hitting us consistently above 30 knots, which unfortunately were making the anchorages quite “rolly” and the snorkeling a bit murky. Not a problem for this well experienced seamen and ladies, but we knew the crossing to Anguilla was not going to be an easy task with strong winds against us. Nevertheless off we went.