With a fear of the sea and a tendency to seasickness, it was with some trepidation that Marion embarked on her first sailing holiday with husband, Iain, armed with a case load of Stugeron and a hundred tiny bikinis…
First Time Sailing
[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t was a blustery day when Marion & Iain arrived into St Martin from Scotland. Ange and I met them from at airport with the Dinghy and we set off back across the lagoon into the wind and waves. Poor Marion’s face was a picture as the first wave hit and within minutes everyone was soaked…I’m sure both she and Iain wondered what on earth they’d let themselves in for!
We made it back to Ibis anchored in Marigot Bay and life suddenly got a little better, what with the turquoise water and blue skies. [pullquote_right]”for the first few days Marion wore her lifejacket everywhere”[/pullquote_right]Marion hadn’t done a lot of boating and was understandably apprehensive; she took her Stugeron religiously and was also nervous of just being on the water, not being a particularly strong swimmer and liking for her feet to be touching the ground….not possible when swimming off the back of Ibis as she needs a couple of metres depth to stay floating! For the first couple of days Marion wore her lifejacket everywhere…I’ve since upgraded to more discreet inflatable ones, but at the time this was a bright orange floating michelin man jacket….sorry Marion!
Sailing to Tintamarre & St Barth’s
We sailed up the coast a little way to Grand Case for our first trip together with Angela, and had a fun evening ashore. Sadly Angela had to go home a day or two later and it was just Iain, Marion & I that set off for Tintamarre, a small French island to the North of St Martin. The nudies were out in force when we arrived which was a source of amusement; nudism on public (family) beaches isn’t allowed in France but one particular day-trip catamaran seems to have a dispensation for Tintamarre.
After Tintamarre we headed to Philipsburg on the Dutch side of St Maarten, and from there to Columbier on St Barth’s. There was quite a strong Easterly blowing and about 2 to 3 metres of swell which made for some exciting sailing across to St Barth’s with 2 reefs in the sails but by this time Marion was taking everything in her stride and Iain was loving it!
[pullquote_left]”you’re guaranteed to see turtles swimming around the boat”[/pullquote_left]Columbier is one of my favourite night stops; a small secluded bay with a white sand beach, you are guaranteed to see turtles swimming around the boat, and the snorkelling is good in places. To top it off, the sun sets behind St Maarten to the West which makes for a great start to the evening, and it’s bliss to wake up in a such a quiet and beautiful place.
After a nosey around the manicured streets of Gustavia the next morning, we headed back across to St Martin and had a lovely sail along the coast with the wind on the beam and were accompanied by dolphins for a few moments. By the time we had rounded the point heading back to Marigot, Marion had taken the helm and was enjoying, albeit apprehensively, the exhilaration of tacking into 20 knots of trade winds!
Nice one Mrs N!
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