Unwinding in St. Martin

We weren’t in a hurry to do much of anything after I cleared Customs and Immigration. I think we spent the rest of the day napping, reading, chasing sundowners, and gazing at all the beautiful yachts and scenery. Six years earlier we’d vacationed here for a week, and we’d wondered what it would be like to lie to our own anchor in this beautiful bay. Now we pinched ourselves just to be sure we were awake, because it was hard to believe we were actually here.

Sunset in St. Martin
Sunset in St. Martin

As the sun set on our first evening in the Leeward Islands we were treated to a beautiful display of color backlighting all the very large yachts anchored further out in the bay. The large ones in the photo are all close to 200 feet long, magnificent yachts.
A Classic Beauty in Marigot Bay
A Classic Beauty in Marigot Bay

Joy and I both admire beautiful yachts, and we’re not afraid to approach an owner to first compliment them on their yacht and to ask a few simple questions about their home and their voyage. Typically though, owners of larger yachts are not aboard so we rarely have the opportunity to speak with them, but occasionally we can chat up the captain and crew. We learn a little bit from each and every sailor.
After a few nights in Marigot Bay, two issues caused us to look for an alternate home. First, the surge and roll in Marigot Bay can be horrendous; second, the ear- shattering, loud music at night actually makes you think of murder and mayhem, especially by about 04:00. So we decided to take a short jaunt to the east to Grand Case passing this beauty on the way out. StM291
We’d both read in our cruising guides that Grand Case could be quite the party town, especially on Tuesday evenings when they closed the waterfront streets so more folks could wander without fear of being run down. We dropped anchor on a Sunday, and found the anchorage to be far superior to Marigot. There’s very little motion, but as you can see from the photo to the left, there’s no good dinghy dock, just the big ferry dock. Joy was stuck on board as there was just enough wave action to make landing the dinghy at the beach impossible. Scaling the ferry dock to go ashore for fresh bread, croissants, and take out dinner gave me daily exercise. 
Do you See it?
Do you See it?

If you look closely, you might also notice just how close the Grand Case airport is to our anchorage. See the plane? This small island airport is tucked between the hills and its location provided regular entertainment.
Grand Case Harbor
Grand Case Harbor

Our last night in Grand Case was Tuesday, March 20. We’d planned to stay longer, but, you guessed it. Tuesday night, the music here was even louder than in Marigot. And there was more than one band playing at a time. Perhaps multiple bands works in a crowded town, but it sure makes for a cacophony of sound out on the water. We decided we’d had enough and headed back to Marigot. Once anchored, we relaxed and were listening to some new arrivals, and we overheard Island Dream on VHF chatting to another boater. We called them up and were thrilled to find another cruiser we knew. We planned to get together soon. The next morning, we hauled anchor to be in place and on time for the 08:30 bridge opening so we could enter the lagoon to anchor there. Pat and Darnell had entered the lagoon the day before, and they told us it was flat calm, peaceful, with plenty of room near them to anchor. A no brainer. 

Move Into the Lagoon