Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Ships Log: Passage to St. Martin

Ships Log: Passage to St. Martin

5/29/10 12:08 Depart Francis Bay, St. John for overnight passage to St. Martin, approximately 100 N.M. Weather forecast S-SW winds 11-16 knots.

Great sail down Sir Francis Drake channel to the cut between Peter and Norman islands.

Outside wind is 14-23 knots from the S-SW, seas are 4 feet and somewhat confused. Merengue is flying along at 6.5 knots and frequently over 7 knots.

Sunset 18:48. Looking forward to an almost full moon rising at 20:36 but skies are very cloudy with showers in the area.

20:00 Squall hits with consistent winds of 25 knots with gusts to over 30. High winds continue for next 7 hours.

5/30/10 03:00 Winds die down to 7-11 knots. Seas still confused and sloppy.

05:00 Wind increases 11-15 knots.

08:00 Arrive in Marigot Bay, St. Martin. One tack from Virgin Islands, 120 N.M. in 20 hours.

The trip was good in that we had the perfect wind direction and made great time. We averaged 6 knots and if you can believe the GPS, Merengue hit a top speed of 10.5 knots! Is that possible? However the high winds and rain made for an uncomfortable and tiring overnight sail. Why do squalls insist on hitting at night when you can’t see them coming? We arrived in St. Martin just in time to make the 08:15 bridge opening on the French-side and anchored in Simpson Bay lagoon. Then we grabbed our first meal in 24 hours. We had food prepared to eat underway but it was too difficult in the rough conditions. Breakfast was followed by a nap and a whole day of doing nothing.

Our friends on S/V Songbird have been waiting for us to arrive so we can do some traveling together. We met Pat and Carol at one of the restaurants in Marina Royale for pizza, salad and wine and then Monday headed over to Zee Best Breakfast for crepes. A little over 24 hours in the country and we’ve had 2 great meals. We love St. Martin!

Ring around the sun showing moisture in the air, an indicator of an approaching storm system and one of the few times we've seen sun in the past week.