St Martin/St Maarten | Distant Shores Sailing Newsletters

St Martin/St Maarten

Hi Everyone,

Our Southerly 49, Distant Shores II, is back in the water in St Martin in the Caribbean, after a week of seasonal maintenance on the boat before we continue with a winter season of sailing and filming new episodes for the Distant Shores TV series in the tropics this year. We re-launched the boat on Monday and are now anchored in Simpson Bay Lagoon near Marigot, St Martin (the French side of the island).
Paul and Sheryl at Toronto International Boat Show January 18-20, 2013

We have only been back in St Martin for 10 days since were home in Canada for 3 weeks doing presentations at the Toronto International Boat Show and other events, then flew back from Toronto on Feb 5.
Paul and Sheryl with Toronto sailor, Dave McGuire

Our flight back to St Martin/St Maarten was good on WestJet which has direct non-stop flights from Toronto YYZ to Phillipsburg SXM. There were 5 other Toronto sailors on the plane that we knew, all heading back to their boats after visiting home for the Holidays and Toronto Boat Show, so it was a sociable flight! We all met up again later on the island, at Barnacles, the sailors' bar in St Maarten.
Salt fish cakes or fritters are a traditional snack throughout the Caribbean.

There are lots of great restaurants and varied cuisine on this half-Dutch half-French tropical island. When we were in the boat yard we really enjoyed the Boca Marine restaurant that was on site. The appetizer pictured above is salt-fish cakes (dried salted cod made into fritters) which are a traditional snack found throughout many islands in the Caribbean.

St Maarten Shipyard, where we had hauled out the boat for storage before flying home, is very close to the airport so we just walked to the boat after landing and clearing in!
Sheryl walking from the airport terminal to the boat yard

The yard is right beside the runway so as we worked on the boat all week we had a constant Air Show :-)
View of SXM runway from Distant Shores II in St Maarten Shipyard

There were other sailors working in the yard too and the staff there were all really helpful and nice, so the time in the yard was very pleasant despite working with messy/toxic anti-fouling paint.
See previous newsletter for details and cost of the haul-out.

St Maarten Shipyard has a SeaLift which is like a huge padded forklift that they use instead of a travel lift. The SeaLift could raise us high enough to paint the full height of the keel. It was good to get a close-up look and see that all was well.
We re-launched the boat on Monday February 11 and will spend a few days at anchor in Simpson Bay Lagoon on the French side of St Martin finishing up some projects before sailing on. Mardi Gras celebrations are going strong in Marigot this week with the start of Lent. I've decided to give up "snow" for Lent this year :-)
On the weekend, weather permitting, we'll leave St Martin for the British Virgin Islands where we plan to stay for about 10 days. After that we will work our way slowly south through the island chain filming new episodes for Distant Shores season 9 in Dominica, Martinique, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada.
In May we will probably store the boat in Grenada for the Hurricane Season so will be home in Canada to continue with post-production on the shows in the summer for a change.

Have a really great weekend!

Warm regards,

Paul and Sheryl Shard
Aboard SY Distant Shores II
Marigot, St Martin
West Indies

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