February 11 - 15, 2015
|12 - Antigua, 13 - Barbuda, 14 - St Barts, 15 - St Martin, 16 - Anguilla|
St Martin - Sint Maarten
|A - Marigot|
This is an island that peacefully divided it’s seven mile by seven mile land between two countries. The French own the northern portion and the Dutch the southern. Legend tells that rather than fighting over the land the two countries had a walk-off. The Frenchman with a bottle of wine walked in one direction and the Dutchman with a flask of gin the other. The French got a bigger section because the wine was not as strong as the gin.
Today the island is a favorite destination for vacationing in the Leeward Islands. It saw the potential of tourism early and used it’s beautiful water and beaches along with casinos, condos, hotels and restaurants to create a package that is difficult to match. The icing on the cake is — the entire island is duty free.
|Most of the large yachts are on the Dutch side.|
A flock of big boys, but wait -- the biggest one is
just coming into sight!
Just as we thought we had seen the greatest collection of mega yachts in Antigua we arrived here. They are easily out numbered in multiples. The island was gearing up for the Heineken Regatta while we were visiting. It is a world-famous international event that attracts many famous yachts. A lot of them had already arrived.
|This is Limitless, owned by Wexler the founder of The Limited,|
Victoria's Secret and several other successful retail chains.
Limitless is 297 feet long and every foot is sleek and beautiful.
|We stuck around to watch it thread it's way through|
the narrow bridge opening. The inflatable was
another set of eyes for the captain.
|Young sailors practicing their maneuvers.|
|Gondola passengers getting a close-up view of the |
|Not all expensive yachts are sleek|
|A floating restaurant - hotel in the lagoon.|
|Marigot's dingy dock was spacious. Venders lined|
up in the market to greet guests. Bonnie and I made
purchases until we ran out of cash. No credit cards
|Leaving the lagoon at the French|
bridge. The lagoon is the large body
of water on the west side of the island.
See map. Both the French and Dutch
have a bridge.
|We had to stop at Brian's favorite French bakery|
every day. This is about 1/3 of the counter.
|David and Jill from Sweet Chariot joined us for|
pastries this morning.
|How did they know we were coming?|
A red carpet AND our family crest!
|Sorry, I know I've said it many times --|
beautiful sunset and beautiful water.
Friday night as we were preparing to leave, Brian discovered that the water maker was not working! We still had 200 gallons in our tanks, but with four people on board we have been using a lot. Now, we all went into conservation mode. The water maker has spoiled us as it provides all of the fresh water we need. After five hours in the 99 degree engine room, he had it fixed! Yea, Brian!!!
|Getting an early start to Anguilla. The Tube Dude |
leads us towards a double rainbow.
|A - Road Bay|
Anguilla is one of the older islands in the Lesser Antilles. Like St Martin and St Barts these are volcanic islands that have eroded to a flatter appearance than the younger ones. Tourism is the main industry relying on it’s white sandy beaches and excellent restaurants to bring visitors. It has recently become a luxury destination. Some prefer it to St Barts because with fewer cars and people it is a more serene and discrete location.
We arrived at Road Bay on Valentine’s Day with just enough time to check through customs and take a walk along the flat beach. This was one of the best walking beaches we have found in the islands. The sand was like pumas. I was hoping it would work some magic on my calloused feet. The locals told us it was their worst beach. I’d come back for a week to see more of it.
Just before going to shore on Sunday David and Jill dropped anchor. They met us on shore for a walk and then a jazz concert at Johnno'S Beach Bar. We sat down during the musician’s break and ordered drinks. Sprocka, the lead guitar and vocalist, joined us to chat about life on the water. When the second set started, he sang an impromptu song about our trip to the islands from Minnesota. What fun! I wish I had a video of it.
Gotta smile -- we're lovin the ride!