March 1995 - BVI to Nevis

1 March 1995 Trellis Bay to Simpson Bay, St Martin (Day 1)
Typical of me, I woke up this morning and decided that if the weather forecast was right, we should go to St Martin tonight! The weather forecast seemed to be good, so we set off to Spanish Town to see if the mail had arrived from England. We got to the marina, filled up with water & diesel, then found out that there was no mail. I’d asked Carol to send it to us on the 15 February, so, after 2 weeks, it should be here.

I spent £10 ringing Carol to find out that she hasn’t got around to sending it – aaarrgggh! There can be nothing on the planet more frustrating than expecting mail and it not being there. We plan our forward movements as best we can, and it would be nice if Carol could send the mail within a few days of us asking her. She normally does a great job of handling our affairs back in the UK, but unfortunately, she doesn’t seem to understand the total trauma of missing mail!

We motored to Gorda Sound and tidied the boat up. We set sail for St Martin at half past four and managed to start off fairly well. The wind was ENE15 which allowed us to sail on a rhumb line at first.

The GPS wouldn’t work, so we had to work on dead reckoning. I reckon that the NiCad battery is completely flat. When we changed watches at eleven pm, I noticed that the log was showing speeds between 2 and 4 knots and then it stopped! I got out the trailing log and made a rough guess of our position.

2 March 1995 Trellis Bay to Simpson Bay, St Martin (Day 2)
We had a fairly pleasant sail up to about eight in the morning when we tacked at a position about 15 miles south west of St Martin. A line of squalls was approaching and the wind picked up to about 25 knots with a very confused sea. To add to the general discomfort, the stern gland was leaking and so the bilge was full of water. When we went onto starboard tack, we had water sloshing about under the chart table – Yuk!

A couple of hours later, we turned on the engine and made a dash for the eleven o’clock bridge. We just made it! Marina from “Columbine” called by for a cup of tea, just as we were putting on the sail covers. I then tightened the stern gland, cleaned out the dinghy, repaired a chafed patch on the dinghy floor, assembled and inflated the dinghy and collapsed.

I went for a cruise around in the dinghy and called in on a few people. I delivered the gin and luggage to Chris on “Willow”, then called in on “Moby Dick”, “Cooee” and “Tekaroa” (who weren’t in). In the evening we went to Lagoonies Bar, watched “Mood Indigo” practice and had burger and chips which was great. I chatted to Mood Indigo’s keyboard player Flora from “Second Flora” about types of keyboards to buy for Glenys’ birthday.

3 March 1995 Simpson Bay Lagoon
I went into Philipsburg to clear in. I went around the chandlers to check out batteries and other bits. I looked at keyboards for Glenys and picked up 144 photographs!

I went to the bank to get some money out and, Oh My God, no credit card! I had a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach as I continued to walk around town – the last time I used it was in a phone box in Virgin Gorda – had I left it there? I got back to the boat and after a bit of searching I found it in Glenys’ shorts pocket – I must have given it to her in Virgin Gorda - phew!

Kirsty and Pete from “Tekaroa” came for a beer.

4 March 1995 Simpson Bay Lagoon
We all went into town to buy a keyboard for Glenys. Typically, we eventually bought the best Yamaha “Home” model that was on offer. We then spent the afternoon fighting over who was going to play with it next. What an amazing machine. We had to read the manual twice to get a grip on all of the features.

5 March 1995 Simpson Bay Lagoon
School work in the morning. I went to chat to Guy and Marie on “Sahara Blue”. The aft heads pump sprang a leak so I had to service it. Jimmy and Marion from “Moby Dick” came for a cup of tea.

I spent a short time trying to play the clarinet with Glenys accompanying but my timing is bloody awful. I play the correct notes but I can’t fit them into the correct rhythm. I can’t even play with the metronome. So, its back to Lesson 1 of a “tune a day” using the metronome for every lesson – God help me, but it’s got to be done or I’ll never be able to play with anyone else!

6 March 1995 Simpson Bay Lagoon
Glenys did school work in the morning while I ran around trying to buy things. I messed about in the afternoon and did jobs while Glenys took the boys to see if they could join a Karate class. Unfortunately, the guy in charge wouldn’t take them just for a couple of weeks. Brett was very disappointed – we were hoping that we could get the boys involved in activities with other children, but it doesn’t look very hopeful at the moment.

7 March 1995 Simpson Bay Lagoon
Glenys did school work in the morning while I ran around getting photos for the boys for a US visa. We have decided to apply for a visa while we are here in St Martin. We need to send our passports off to Barbados. The surest way of doing this is to send the passports by Federal Express – unfortunately it costs a total of $70 to get them there and back. We have put out an announcement on the net to see if there is anyone else who could share the cost with us.

Glenys did the laundry in the afternoon while I pottered about. We went for a beer on “Blown Away” (US) with Scott, Sheree and Logan (4). Pizza Hut for dinner.

8 March 1995 Simpson Bay Lagoon
Glenys’ birthday. We finally got through to Gareth on the SSB – I’ve been trying for 3 days using “Sahara Blue’s” radio. Glenys went to Island Water World to chat to Gareth by telephone. No one bothered to call us about US visas so I sent them off today by ourselves - $70, boo hoo!

We went out to Eve’s for a beer and a meal with “Tekaroa”, “Columbine”, “Moby Dick” and “Sahara Blue”. I’m afraid that Glenys got very, very drunk and nearly fell into the water getting off the dinghy when we got back to “Glencora” – a good evening.

9 March 1995 Simpson Bay Lagoon
Glenys had a major hangover, threw up and sat around all day feeling sorry for herself! I did school work in the morning and looked after everyone during the afternoon. We had a Taco Bell takeaway for dinner! We had 3 separate lots of people come over to the boat and ask about US visas – they’ve now got a group of about 8 people – so they’re down to $10 each, damn my impatience!

10 March 1995 Simpson Bay Lagoon
Glenys did school work in the morning, while I went over to Marigot to buy some bits and pieces. Glenys and I walked up to Foodland and Napa in the afternoon and that was the end of that day! Jimmy and Marion from “Moby Dick” invited us over to watch a video – “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”, great!