Friday, December 23, 2011

Home for the Holidays

Something amazing about this cruising lifestyle is moving frequently. Every few weeks or so, there is a new Island to visit and within that Island, there are new anchorages. Every time you visit a new place you have to figure out where things are, for example, the Immigration office, where to find internet, a local market, marine store, where to get propane, water and so forth. It didn’t take long for these two Earthlings to settle in St. Martin. It feels like home here already. Large anchorage sites where many cruisers visit and stay for a longer time, such as St. Martin, have a VHF radio Channel just for cruiser’s. It’s called the “Cruiser’s Net”. On the Cruiser’s Net the weather forecast is given, there is an exchange of goods or services, general info, and they usually announce arrivals and departures. In other words it’s a networking community for cruisers. We have listened and engaged in the cruiser’s net since we were in George Town, Bahamas. The Cruiser’s Net has been very useful for us, we get local information and/or exchange things. Since we’ve gotten to Simpson Lagoon, Channel 14 has been on at 7:30 am every morning. We listen to Mike, the host of the Cruiser’s Net in St. Martin. Kelly has been offering haircuts for cruisers on the net and Mike has offered her  to use his establishment, “Shrimpy’s Laundry & Yachting Center” to cut hair. We row to shore, then bike to Shrimpy’s every day.  We’ve really gotten to know Mike, Sally, and Meme. They have been sailing and cruising before we were born.  They are wonderful people who have been very welcoming, and helpful to us. Offering haircuts also helps us meet new people and cruisers that have a plethora of information to share. Today we are invited for dinner aboard Elaine and Bob’s boat M/V “Mar Azul”. They have been cruising just since April and are going the same route as us down through the Leeward Islands.

We have been here for a week now and are already settled in. We could live here for a long time if we wanted to. Now we know where most of the things are and have already been anchored in 3 different sites. The other day we biked all the way around the lagoon to the Dutch side. What makes it feel most like home is that we made friends.  

St. Martin is a major boating and yachting center in the Caribbean. It’s a great place to fix and upgrade your vessel. Caribbean’s biggest boating stores, Budget Marine and Water World have warehouses here and are located almost next to each other. You can find anything for your marine needs in St. Maarten. Furthermore, you see the biggest yachts you have ever seen, which reminds me of Monaco. There are many 100+ foot yachts in the lagoon. The masts of these mega sailing yachts are so tall that they have red anchor lights, which I believe is for the safety of aircraft traffic. There are at least 10 masts with red lights on their stick. We caught a moment on video of a super yacht when we were waiting in Simpson Bay for the bridge to open. Check out the video here!

Caribbean Christmas spirit comes with the Christmas winds. The past few days it has been blowing 20 to 30 miles per hour. The windgenerator has been turning off frequently since the batteries are topped off and with the combination of solar panels there is no need to start the engine at all. It’s all about being as sufficient and resourceful as possible in this life style. In addition, Santa doesn’t ride in on a sleigh here, he zooms through on a jet ski! The Holiday’s are here and we wish all our followers and friends a Merry Christmas, God Jul, Happy Solstice, and Happy Hanukkah!

Love from Simpson Lagoon


  1. Ah ha! You've met Elaine & Bob, who we communicate with and are looking forward to meeting. Very Merry Christmas to you & Kelly!

  2. Mar Azul is looking forward to meet you guys.
    Happy New Year to you and Andy