Friends Visit

We arrived in St. Martin with a week to spare.  It was February 14th and the Pawlowski's were not due in until February 20th.  It would give us time to check things out.  We had heard about the damage done by Hurricane Lenny and wanted to investigate the island before they arrived, making sure we would be able to do the things they might be interested in.

As we traveled around the anchorages, we noted many boats either damaged or sunk due to Hurricane Lenny.  It was a sad sight and made you aware of what weather can do.

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As we investigated we found we would be able to bring the boat up and anchor right across the street from the airport. 

The day finally arrived.  Rick and I were so excited.  We had not seen our good friends in almost a year.  We were really looking forward to their visit and seeing the island of St. Martin with them.

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Judi, Caitlin and Bubba Mitch arrive

We walked across the street and got on the boat and headed back to the anchorage.   Everyone talking at once.  We shared our Christmas presents and had dinner and continued talking.  The next morning we would plan our visit.  When we awoke, we realized we were going to have the first (I swear it had not rained in weeks) hard rain we had experienced in weeks.  Luckily it only lasted until noon.  Everybody contributed, however, as we collected water, filled the water tanks and took showers while the water was free.  We headed out of the lagoon and over into Marigot Bay to stage for our circumnavigation of the island.  After we anchored we went in to Marigot to look around and shop.  We had met up with Raffiki and Sarah and Caitlin had fun visiting the various clothing stores.

We continued our visit and planned on moving to another anchorage in the morning, Anse Marcel.  Again upon waking we had another morning of rain (beginning to think the people from back home brought it with them).  We decided to pull up anchor anyway and head to Anse Marcel.  The weather cleared and we made the long 6 mile trip.  Anchored in front of a nice beach and headed in via dingy to find lunch and shop.  Caitlin seemed amazed at the color of the water.  Also, while in this anchorage we all noticed the number of butterflies, there were hundreds.   On our agenda was a visit to the St. Martin Butterfly Farm around the other side of the island.  We were wondering if they were escaping.  We would have to wait to find out.

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The beach at Anse Marcel

Walking down the beach Rick came across this Macaw.   Better than any picture we got in the wild.

Raffiki, who had followed us and anchored nearby had to leave the following day, heading to Anguilla to meet family.  We then decided to pull up anchor (after a few unscheduled boat chores, head repair among them).  We headed to Ile Pinel.  This is a small island with no electricity.  They do have a restaurant and a store, both of which bring almost everything out each day to sell and then return by boat to the mainland.  The gentleman who owned the clothing/tourist store took a liking to Caitlin and she got several nice items at no cost.  This is were Caitlin got her hair braided and where Rick and Mitch started their "bird watching activities"   They were in search of barebreasted boobies.  Boy had they found the right island. 

 

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We were on the boat and relaxing and you could see the slow pace was getting to Judi.  She decided to go for a swim and ended up relaxing with an afternoon drink in hand.

Lunch on Ile Pinel Island under a palm tree roofed table

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Caitlin, too, was able to relax and enjoy the sights and water while visiting Tranquillity

We went into town (I think it was a town) for dinner.  It was a long walk, but well worth it.  We found three or four small restaurants and started investigating.   We agreed on a small restaurant called Le Taverne de Filibustier.  They had five or six tables.  We met the owner and he told us he had just recently opened the restaurant.  Since the food was listed in French, he was very helpful in translating.   We all had wonderful meals and he came back to the table with a full bottle of Polish Vodka - I don't know how he knew Mitch was Polish.  He sat with us and we all had shots of Vodka (some of us more than others).

The next morning we decided to go to the Butterfly Farm.  After investigating its location, we decided the best way would be from the dingy through the beach at Orient Bay.   Unfortunately Orient Bay is an all nude beach.  Judi, Caitlin and I walked through and on to the butterfly farm while Rick and Mitch continued their search for barebreasted boobies.  For more information you can see www.cluborient.com.

At the butterfly farm we learned quite a lot about the butterflies and moths.   During the recent Hurricane Lenny they lost most of their butterflies and moths and are in the process of restocking.  Caitlin is writing an article which we will have in the Camp Mary section in the near future about her impression of the butterfly farm.

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This blue butterfly is found in the area of the Macareo River, where we were in January.  I had seen them in flight, but had difficulty getting a picture.  The underside of these butterflies is brown so they match the branches they land on

Another one of 100s of butterflies
that were at this farm. 

While in this anchorage Rick and Mitch took Caitlin snorkeling.  She saw all kinds of fish - boy I wish I had an underwater camera sometimes.

We reluctantly left Orient Bay heading towards Phillipsburg.  Rick and Mitch wanted more time inventorying their barebreasted boobies.  We spent the next night in Phillipsburg and went shopping on Sunday.  Normally everything is closed on Sunday, however, cruise ships anchor in Phillipsburg and the stores open based on the cruise ships.  We then headed back up to Simpson Bay, entering the lagoon through the bridge, finishing our circumnavigation and getting close to the end of our visit with the Pawlowski's.

After spending time in the Caribbean, Rick found he liked the French bathing suits and we decided to have one made for Mitch.  So, of course, the boys dressed and modeled their new attire as we anchored on the French side of St. Martin.

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Alias, our week was coming to an end.  We decided to move the boat up to the airport again to bring Mitch, Judi and Caitlin closer to their flight.  I couldn't believe how quickly the week went by. 

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Rick taking Mitch and Judi ashore with luggage.   Caitlin and I waited for the next dingy ride.

We waved to them as they went through the immigrations post and started planning our next visit.  So until then we hope you all enjoyed this visit from Mitch, Judi and Caitlin.

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We then spent the following week involved with the Heineken Regatta and before we knew it Jim and Dorrie were scheduled to arrive on Anguilla. 

We planned our visit to Anguilla - you could it see from St. Martin, only nine miles away.  There was only one anchorage you could go to without a cruising permit and also to check into Customs, Road Bay.  On Saturday, March 11th, we headed to Anguilla.  Again, not the best sail, we tacked and tacked and tacked and tacked.  As we pulled into the anchorage, Jim and Dorrie hailed us on the radio.  They were standing up on the hill watching us come into the harbor.  Again good friends we had not seen in almost a year.

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Jim arriving on the boat begins the process of mellowing - he is drinking an El Presidente

Jim and Dorrie were staying at a local resort and had rented a car.  Since they had been to Anguilla before and we had not, they were going to escort us around the island.  We were planning a search for the best beach bar and rum punch. 

Jim and Dorrie picked us up on Sunday morning with plans for the day.  We headed to the beach.

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Jim immediately when in for a swim

Dorrie and I decided we would just walk the beach

As we continued our Sunday morning trip, we headed down a road we thought would bring us to another beach, we saw a sign that had us all confused.  How could we be so far off, I thought we were in St. Martin, not New York!

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Do you think this happened because men don't ask for directions?

We found our way and headed toward the beach, in search of lunch and the best rum punch.  As we walked along the beach we noticed this table at the entrance of a beachside bar and restaurant.  It looked a little tipsy but we thought we should investigate their rum punch.

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Even if you weren't drinking, you thought you were looking at this

This rum punch made the list of one of the best

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We've met new friends on the beach

Jim's getting the beat, think this would be a good office location?

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Dorrie was teaching the locals how to "move"

Jim and I found new friends and danced to the music as the sun was setting

Alias the sun was setting and we headed back to the car.  We all agreed the rum punches on Anguilla were second to none.  As we started back to the anchorage, the car was not moving right and we found a flat tire.  We attempted to fix it, however, not all the necessary pieces were available.  A truck stopped and kindly gave us a ride back to the anchorage.  They were locals and the trip sitting in the back of the truck was anything but slow.  We arrived safely and when to a local place for dinner.   Jim and Dorrie then headed back to their hotel.  We were planning on spending the next day relaxing at their hotel.

After having the flat tire fixed, Jim picked us up and we headed to the Cinnamon Reef Hotel Resort.  A wonderful location with beautiful rooms and a great view.  We spent some time on the beach sitting in the shade and reading and then headed up to the pool and hottub.  Oh, what a life!

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The entrance to the pool had great flowerpots, my kind of flowers, they don't need watering!

What a great way to spend an afternoon, especially after being on a sailboat for 11 months.  We were definitely getting spoiled.

Dorrie kept mentioning a great place for lunch located at the end of Anguilla at a place called Junk's Hole.  Their ad read they had the best lobster in the world.   We decided we should investigate and let everyone know for sure.  We headed out in search of the restaurant.  As we got closer, we understood why Dorrie had not been able to reach them on the phone.  They told us they had lost the entire restaurant during Hurricane Lenny and had rebuilt.  They had done a good job.

We all placed our orders for Lobster, Crayfish and, of course, rum punch and headed down to the beach.  Rick, Jim and Dorrie went snorkeling and I sat and read. 

As time got later we headed back to the restaurant for lunch  and as you can see, there was enough food for an army.  We did, however, finish everything.

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Lobster and Crayfish and of course large rum punches - the best in the world

Dorrie's hat enjoyed the rum too

We headed back to Cinnamon Reef Resort for an dip in the pool.  We had a wonderful day.  As everyone headed to the pool, I decided I wanted to relax and read for awhile.

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The only way to relax - in a hammock with Chardonnay in hand.  Lovely afternoon!

We had a wonderful week with Jim and Dorrie.  We had dinner at some wonderful restaurants, a wonderful visit and a tour of the island.  Rick cooked dinner on the boat one night and it was delicious.  We tried to go sailing but as usual the winds were high and the anchoring in the outer areas of Anguilla would have been difficult at best.  Maybe on their next visit.

We headed back to St. Martin and they spent several more days in Anguilla.  When they were leaving, we met them at the ferry dock for the airport and had lunch and waved them through the same Immigrations gate as Mitch and Judi.  Once again heading back to our boat.

We had a great visit with our friends and look forward to more.  Anyone else want to visit?  You are all welcome.  Just remember, you pick the place or the time, not both.

Until the next article ....

Rick and Mary

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