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The lagoon of Saint Martin

The lagoon of Saint Martin

Saint Martin is a beautiful island in the Caribbean that has gained notoriety as the filming location for the TV show Below Deck. The show has showcased the island’s stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, and luxurious lifestyle, making it a popular destination for fans of the show.

We set off from St Kitts as the sun was setting, ready for a night sail to Saint Martin.

This was the first passage that we tried 6 hour watches for. We knew that we would only need 1 night sail, so being able to get a full 6 hours sleep each sounded quite nice. Adam stayed up until about 2am, with Kathryn keeping watch from 2am until 8am (ish). The passage was smooth sailing most of the way, but with a fair few gybes in the first hours.

We decided to stay on the French side as clearing into and out of the country here would be easy (a similar experience to other french islands with a computer and little paperwork), so on arrival we anchored on the outside of the french bridge into the lagoon, as we would need to wait until the evening or following day to enter through the bridge.

This is not the only bridge option… The first bridge is located in Marigot on the French side (our choice). The second bridge is a swing bridge that connects the Dutch side of the island to the French side. The third bridge is located near the airport on the Dutch side.

We dinghied to shore to check in, and have a little look aroud, and found outselves at a delicious pizza place! No bridge activity for us until the morning (this one only opens twice a day).

We made it through the bridge just fine, though it was very tight for a catamaran infront of us…

While contemplating where to anchor, the monohull 1 boat ahead of us decided to go north and imediatly grounded on the bottom. So rather than follow them into what seemed like shallower waters, we headed south.

The Navionics chart with sonar chart overlay is pretty good for the channel that should be dredged. On top of this, we added some fresh depth soundings to te Navionics “active captain” community overlay.

We anchored close to a small bit of land for a little bit of shelter in around 2-3m of water, so not much space under Hannah keel, but also we were back in a flat anchorage! (with the exception of the odd incosiderate motorboat that would drive through the lagoon too fast).

Next it was time for a long awaited boat job. Parts of the cabin top had some old holes form old rigging hardware etc that needed re filling. They were filled in the past but in the UV sun light whatever was in them had started degrading. We have had some fresh filler onboard for some time now to use, and this was the perfect oppourtunity.

We don’t have a comparible before pictures, but here you can seen the holes nicely filled with a gelcoat filler.

We havn’t seen Blue Note in quite some time (except for a brief chat in Antigua), but we once again found ourselves anchored next to them as they came through to the French side of the lagoon from the Dutch side.

We made a pasta bake, had some beers and a catchup as the sunset.

The following day we were also once again joined by Extress, all anchored in a little triangle.

More catching up, eating, drinking and chatting.

But the rest of Saint Martin will come in future posts!

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Day 87 – 90 Faro to …

Day 87 – 90 Faro to …

We started off in the evening to another of our planned destinations, Huelva which was about halfway to Cadiz, 55nm away. It was an easy light wind night sail and we arrived at Huelva just before lunch the next day.

Sunset sail

We anchored up and got settled in to make lunch, whilst baking a fresh loaf of bread we put up our awning canvas which sits over the top of the boom, it gave some much-needed shade to the main saloon because the temperature and sun were scorching

Adams loaf 🍞

Whilst eating lunch we checked the weather again only to find that, that afternoon and night was the only time in the next 4 or so days that had any wind at all!

So instead of staying the night in Huelva we pushed on for another night sail to Cadiz, which we needed to get to relatively soon to check out of the EU as our days here were quickly passing, we had used over 2 months of a 3 month allowance (damn Brexit!) And still, want to go to the Canary Islands which count towards the allowed 90 days in a rolling 180 day quota.

Another vibrant sunset 🌅

The sail to Cadiz was a lot faster, we left around 4:30pm and arrived around midnight, averaging 6.2knots.. our best average to date, as well as our fastest recorded speed of 12.2knots 🤓

After getting into Cadiz we anchored amongst a few other boats right next to the massive suspension bridge

Cadiz suspension bridge