After we had stowed away all our food for the next few months we continued to get Guppy ready for cutting some waves again.
Next destination, St.Maarten. We hoisted our anchor which had by now dug itself deep into the soft mud and slowly navigated Guppy’s big bum out of the very crowded bay of Le Marin. Once at open sea, she feels free and in her element again with all sails up and full steam ahead. A perfect wind accompanies us and we enjoy watching the coastline of Martinique pass by as we race up north. During the night we see the few lights of Dominica in the distance and the next day brings us past Montserrat. Montserrat has a very active volcano and as we sail past we can smell the sulfur. We sail past St.kits & Nevis as the night falls and we start to see the lights of Saba, St.Barths, and not much later also St.Maarten. It’s still dark as we enter the bay and anchor on a safe distance further out in the bay, to move closer in with daylight. In the morning our customs agent comes and picks up our paperwork and we’re all cleared in and ready to go ashore in the afternoon. Nice, no quarantine time! While we are here we have some more students arrive and we go with the whole group to Maho beach to see the plane fly right over our heads and of course to welcome them as they come out of the airport.
Once our new young crew gets used to life aboard and has settled in with the rest of the group it’s time for some island exploring 🙂 We rent two cars again and set off, the island is not very big but it has some nice and adventurous things to offer. We had a hike planned in the north of the island, but the day starts out very hot with little wind which would make hiking with a group who is not used to such heat yet a less than a favourable idea. So I change plans and we drive to a part of the island which is overgrown with a beautiful tropical forest and has a fun climbing parkour winding through the trees. It gives us a fun and good workout while at the same time learning lots about tropical forests and their preservation. After our climb through the trees, we drive part way up pic paradise mountain and hike the last part to the top to reach the highest point of the island and get a nice view of our surroundings. Everyone is already pretty tired from the climbing and so we walk slowly but for that afternoon I have a tour planned on an ex Volvo Ocean race boat ( the green dragon) so I can’t let them all fall asleep now… Time for a break and some ice cream! Once the sugar kicks in we head out to the Green Dragon. The contrast to Guppy couldn’t be much bigger, the size of the two boats are pretty much the same but the measure of comfort.. well it’s not really comparable I guess. Really fun to show them this different world in sailing and for some of our young crew who are real sailing lovers themselves it is quite special to step onboard one of these racing monsters and be able to fire off all their questions to the crew. What a special day!
Needless to say, everyone went to sleep very satisfied and also incredibly tired.