Margaret’s St Barth’s Bucket 2011

Margaret’s St Barth’s Bucket 2011
Margaret had front row seats for the 2011 St Barth’s Bucket, a rare occasion to see some of the world’s most famous and prestigious sailing boats under full sail…

First Stop Anguilla with Linda

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]e had an amazing fortnight cruising St Martin, Anguilla, St Barth’s to watch the Bucket Regatta, and then on to St Kitts, Nevis and St Eustatius.

Linda joined Margaret and I for the first leg to Anguilla where we had a night in Road Harbour before heading over to the stunning beach at Dog Island for a days rest and relaxation. Heading back into the bay for the night the engine oil alarm started beeping worryingly and we cut the motor and sailed onto the anchor – fortunately an easy job in Road Harbour! It turned out that the raw water coolant intake had blocked meaning the engine overheated – the impeller drawing the raw water into the pump had disintegrated and the superheated exhaust fumes – normally cooled by the expelled water – had melted the plastic water trap….I don’t know why they make these things out of plastic! So not only did I need to replace the impeller and try and pick the bits of the old one out of the cooling circuit, I also needed to patch up the water trap as best I could and mop up the sea water from the bilge.

As luck would have it, there was a rather posh looking superyacht anchored nearby, and I dinghied over to borrow a wrench…these boats normally have a full time engineer on board, and this one was no exception; [pullquote_right]”the impeller drawing the raw water into the pump had disintegrated”[/pullquote_right] the mechanic kindly offered to come over and give me a hand pulling the engine apart and putting it back together! The taped up water trap last us til we got back to St Martin where replacements are easy to find.

On the way back, we stopped for lunch in the beautiful Anguilla bay where the Cap Jaluca resort is situated. One of the loveliest bays with stunning blue water, our lunch was made all the more special with the sighting of a whale swimming past further out in the Anguilla Channel.

Sailing to St Barth’s

We said farewell to Linda in Marigot and Margaret and I headed over to St Barth’s. We had the most special few days anchored just outside the harbour watching the boats sail out for the St Barth’s Bucket Regatta. Open only by invitation and to sailing boats over 100 feet, the Bucket is perhaps the most prestigious regatta event on the calendar. This year we were treated to 2 classic J Boats and to the immense and quite distinctive sailing boat, the Maltese Falcon…the pictures and video speak for themselves. The event in St Barths is unique in that these beautifl superyachts line the public dock and the party and prizegiving ceremony are open to all that turn up. We were able to watch the nightly bands and ceremonies, mingle with the crews, and to walk along the dock and marvel at those small enough and lucky enough to have a space on the quay.

And the Official Video:

Over to St Kitts & Nevis

From St Barth’s we had a lovely sail down to Nevis and anchored off Sunshine’s Beach Bar. I thought we’d hauled the dinghy far enough up the beach for the tide and the surf, but some while later it had disappeared and could be seen floating out to sea some way off. Luckily another cruiser picked it up for us and brought it back to the beach for us…I thought I was going to have a long swim!

We had a brief stop in St Kitts’ main town of St George’s and took a taxi up into the hills [pullquote_left]”the dinghy could be seen floating out to sea some way off”[/pullquote_left]for a wonderful lunch and a sneaky swim at one of the plantation houses, then off to St Eustatius (Statia) where there is a quaint cobbled town and museum to the slaving industry for which the island was something of a hub.

The anchorage was pretty rolly at Statia and we weren’t entirely sorry to be leaving, but with the wind on the beam the next day we had a fantastic fast sail back to St Maarten finishing our trip in Simpson Bay.

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