S/V Koinonia Weekly Sailing Log - New Years in Saint Martin (Wed Dec 27th - Tue Jan 2nd, 2023)
Highlights this week: we visit historic Nelson’s Dockyard, then clear out of Antigua and an overnight passage to Saint Martin; anchoring in Marigot Bay and clearing in on the French side of the island; celebrating New Years; enjoying pastries at our favorite French bakery; meeting other boat families with teens.
Wed Dec 27 - breakfast on the boat, then went ashore and took the public bus from Jolly Harbour to English Harbour/ Falmouth to visit Nelson’s Dockyard Museum; bus ride was 1.5 hours and cost was approx $15 US for all five of us. Lunch at a tasty little tapas restaurant called, “Roquita.” Toured the grounds of Nelson’s Dockyard, an international historic site, and learned about the history and significance of this place in Antigua and British naval history. Took the bus back to Jolly Harbour. Watched “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
Thu Dec 28 - regular trading day; went ashore to buy a few items for lunch, take trash, and go for a walk. Went to try to clear out of customs at 3pm for a 3pm departure the next day, but they wouldn’t allow it, so have to go back tomorrow. Amber made a rice, ham, broccoli, and cheese casserole for dinner.
Fri Dec 29 - regular trading day; personal best day on record and signed off at 11am market time. Got the boat ready to get underway again and messaged our parents our float plans. Ben went ashore to clear out of customs and immigration; the cost was $100 US, which is expensive. They charged $30 US for each of the kids because they were considered “passengers,” if under 18. Ben helped brokerage clients submit an offer on a boat in Deltaville, VA. Weighed anchor at 3:30pm AST. Conditions offshore were ideal with winds averaging 10kts and the boat averaged 6kts with full main and genoa in relatively mild seas all night. Ben put us on our course, trimmed the sails, the set our Hydrovane self-steering (aka “Joshua”) and “Koinonia” practically sailed herself to St Martin. Ben took the first watch.
Sat Dec 30 - Amber took second watch at 2am; beautiful passage with wind and waves consistently below expectations. arrived in Marigot at about 8:30am AST. Anchored and dropped the dinghy. Went ashore and cleared in at Ile Marine, which took about 15 mins and was free. Enjoyed some pancakes cooked up by Lizzy. Lunch was leftovers. Ben’s clients signed a deal on a boat in Virginia, so he spent some time working on contracts. Had a few phone calls with family in the afternoon, but basically relaxed most of the day to recuperate from our overnight passage.
Sun Dec 31 - spent the morning in worship as a family, then went ashore after lunch to meet with two other boat families for some beach fun. Kids and adults played games and chatted for about four hours, then came back to the boat for dinner. Marigot Bay is a bit choppy due to NE wind but we plan to move into the lagoon on Tuesday assuming the bridge is operational. Stayed up to watch the fireworks and we weren’t disappointed. Fireworks were going off in every direction with Anguilla to the north and fireworks going off all along Marigot Bay.
Mon Jan 1 - choppy and breezy today. The kids rested from an exhausting day of play and a late night. Ben and Amber caught up with family and friends on the phone. Ben spent the entire afternoon and into the evening troubleshooting and finally fixing the wiring issue with our starboard side cabin lights. Made water. Amber made breakfast for dinner. The fireworks display in Marigot was awesome! Watched the Jimmy Stewart classic, “You Can’t Take It With You.”
Tue Jan 2 - the winds have settled E so the chop in the harbor laid down today. Regular school and trading day. Went ashore and got pastries and ice cream from our favorite bakery in the Caribbean, Chez Fernand. Went shopping for some clothes for the girls, then picked up a few grocery items and returned to the boat. Ben made sesame chicken and fried rice for dinner.