Wednesday, May 15th, 2002
Our first real trip -
For our first solo sail, Curt and I decided
to adventure out to a nearby island for a few days. Of course,
Curt asked the guys at the chandlery where they might suggest,
and we also consulted our cruising guide. We chose Anguilla
because it seemed to be the closest, an easy sail, and a straightforward
anchorage that seemed easy to navigate.
I'm sure in time, readying the boat for
a cruise won't feel like such a fire drill, but for now, my
mind is always racing as we get ready to go. So many things
to remember: checking out of customs, stowing things away
so they don't break, removing the bumpers, when to take off
the sail cover... And while here at dock in St. Maarten we
have the added stress of both pulling out of our somewhat
awkward dock and having to do it in accordance with the timing
of the bridge openings. We're in a protected lagoon, and in
order to reach the ocean we have to go through a draw-bridge
of sorts. It only opens a handful of designated times each
day, so if you miss it, it may be hours or an entire day before
you can get back in or out. At any rate- though stressful,
we pulled away from dock smoothly and made it out of the 9am
bridge without incident. The sail to Anguilla was equally
uneventful, but beautiful and relaxing.
Road Bay, where we anchored in Anguilla
has the beautiful turqouise water that you see in the magazines.
The water was so clear, you could see the bottom! While we
heard it was a quiet town, we didn't know it was going to
be THAT quiet. The whole island is rather flat, and the beach
here has white sand and is lined with a couple of little restaurants
and houses. No sidewalk. Just sand. There may've been a handful
of people sitting under the shade of a tree, or having a beer
on the patio of the local bar. Curt checked us into customs,
we had an afternoon swim around the boat, and a nice dinner
The next morning we took the dinghy ashore
to do some exploring, only to find there wasn't much to see
(we saw most of it from our boat). On the way in the day before,
we had seen what looked to be like a little deserted island,
and read later read in our guidebook there's a hut out there
on what's known as Sandy Island where you can get a nice lobster
lunch. Since our tour of Road Bay was so short, we opted to
hop in our dinghy and make the mile and half trek out to sea
to check it out. As we arrived, a big catamaran full of tourists
was taking off. I think it was some sort of snorkeling tour.
We had the whole little island to ourselves! Turns out the
hut was even closed. No lunch for us. But it was fun to explore
this tiny little sliver of land in the middle of nowhere.
We got back to the boat and it wasn't long
before we were clamoring back in the dinghy and our way to
check out a little restaurant our friends at the chandlery
Roy's. This was another mile and a half
ride (around the coast, rather than out to sea this time),
but this time we found both people and beer at our destination.
Oh. And Roger the (girl) parrot. She sat on the counter drinking
a shot of something or other. The couple that owns the restaurant
is a jovial, friendly sort. The type that slap you on the
back just a teeny bit too hard, and talk just a bit too loud.
And talk and talk and talk. It was great. Good folks indeed.
Afterward we had dinner back in Road Bay and called it a night.