We had intended to spend about 2 weeks in St Barths before going to St Martin/St Maarten (henceforth known as SXM) but my good friend, Sharna, broke her wrist so we hopped from Nevis to SXM directly. My nephew, Zach, was coming to visit so we had to get there before May 8 no matter what. Getting there early meant spending lots of time with Jim and Sharna, Robyn and Barry, and Ric and Diane as well as a few other cruisers. All this extra time with these people made the departure that much harder for me. We had such a great time going to Dutch Carnival, taking a van tour of the island (thanks for driving all us crazies around, Barry) and meeting at Palapa for dollar beers and Shwarma. I’m shwarma’d out! This little clan threw a surprise birthday celebration for me at an interesting French place in the hills called The Loteire Farm. I want any of you reading this to realize I chose not to post pictures . . . What happens at The Farm, stays at The Farm.
Zach arrived on the 8th for a quick trip—only 4 full days on the boat, no time to waste. The day he got in Stan immediately checked him back out of the country while I took him to the boat and got him settled. We quickly got him off the boat, wandering the Dutch side of SXM and made him drink $1 beers with a bunch of cruisers (as he slowly nodded off while the old folks partied on . . .). Next day, we take the 8:30 bridge out of the lagoon and sail to Anguilla. Really nice little island, but pricey. Seems to be a place for the rich people. Even our chicken and goat rotis were US $12! We’re used to paying more like EC$12. Great rotis, worth it for Zach to have tried them, but ouch, the prices! The beaches were great and we stopped at many, many little beach bars along the way. Back in SXM, we decide to anchor in Marigot (French side) instead of going into the lagoon again. It’s such a beautiful anchorage, but it’s rolly, lumpy and there are always a lot of power boats speeding through causing huge wakes. We were glad to leave that anchorage when we finally took off. Zach took to the boat life easily. He had no trouble making himself a dark and stormy and finding a place to plant his butt in the cockpit. I’m so glad he came and had this experience with us. It meant a lot to both of us.
When Stan and I first started cruising over 2 years ago, our first new island was SXM. We met a few cruisers and I remember watching a scene between one woman and another couple. The woman was crying saying “you don’t know how much people mean to you until they’re gone”. I gathered she and her husband were going a different way than the couple she was talking to and about. She was so upset that I thought there must be more to this story. Well, this time in SXM it was my turn to be that crying cruiser with people that have made the last 2+ years wonderful for me. I’m sure the people at the Palapa Marina thought I was a crazy person blubbering and crying over my friends. It’s hard to say goodbye. We’ve spent so many days and nights with these cruisers and they have really become close. I can count on them for anything and they can count on me. It’s the hardest part of this life, going a different direction. There have been very few people outside my family that I felt as close to as I did Sharna off Second Spray—she doesn’t think I’m crazy or weird probably because she’s the same (not crazy or weird). I thank all the cruisers that made my adventure, well, an adventure.