Update from SXM

Or how to keep yourself entertained when you can’t go sailing

Ar Sgrail on launch day!

We have been in the water for almost three weeks. After launching without incident on November 27, it took us a while to get the boat ready to sail, and once we were ready to go, the weather didn’t want to co-operate. At first it was day after day of rain. Then what is locally known as the “Christmas winds” kicked in. You may be asking yourself, isn’t wind a good thing on a sailboat? But with gusts up to 40 knots (that’s 74 km per hour), sailing stops being such a good idea. Said lack of sailing is making us a little crazy, since it’s our main reason for being here (besides avoiding winter).

At least the rain brings pretty rainbows

There has also been some civil unrest happening on the French side, essentially shutting down half the island. Unfortunate timing, considering we just depleted our on-board rosé stocks.

Protesters lit a car on fire

With Mel’s dad and stepmom visiting St. Martin in a week, and the fact that we have to wait for our new boat papers to arrive in the mail, it looks like we’ll be sticking around for another little while. Also, and maybe not surprisingly given this blog’s name, we still have no plans as to where to go. Should we head south to our favourite Leeward Island destinations like St. Barts, Dominica and Guadeloupe? Even further south to visit the Grenadines again? Or head somewhere new, like the Virgin Islands? Sometimes having so many options makes decision-making even harder.

Mel’s boat office

In the meantime, between boat jobs and translation jobs, here is how we have kept ourselves busy while we wait to head off to other islands.

  • Weekly swim. Seeing as we are moored in the lagoon, where you do NOT want to swim, we make an effort to go out for a beach swim at least once a week. One particular beach, Kim Sha, seems to be cursed for us, with something terrible happening each time we swim there. Last year, when Rachael was here visiting, a graceful dive into the water turned into a faceplant when the bottom unexpectedly got shallow again, resulting in a split lip. Moments later, David got stung by a jellyfish. This year, Mel’s toe met with an angry crab as she came out of the water. Never a dull moment!
Simpson Bay beach, with megayacht views
David goes for a sunset swim
  • Hiking. Last week we went on a sweaty hike for great views of the lagoon, and even had some wildlife encounters!
Hiking with Brenda and Al from SV Haven
View from the top
  • Speaking of wildlife encounters
Iguana out on a limb
  • Wine tastings! Mel got five cruiser couples together and organized an amazing wine tasting on the biggest catamaran we have ever set foot on (58 ft). This boat was nicer than most condos. It was an evening we’ll never forget (though certain moments may be a bit fuzzy after we got through 10 bottles…)
Jess and Brent on Seaduction got this great shot of us arriving by dinghy to our venue for the evening
Mel curated quite a French wine lineup

So no need to worry about us. We’re managing just fine, even without the rosé (we’ve switched to rum).

Being silly

In case we don’t post again in the next couple of weeks, we wish you all very happy holidays!!

Requisite beach selfie
Full moon rising over the lagoon

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