Sint Martin / St Maarten

18° 02.83 N 063° 05.64 W

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2 February to 5 May 2006

We arrived under Spinnaker through the Anguilla Channel and anchored in Marigot Bay at midnight on the 1st February. Laura and Liz walked up to Fort Louis.

The view over the esplanade or waterfront of the town of Marigot, the capital of the French side of the island.

We had some repairs to do, and wanted a calm anchorage. Here we entered through the bridge on the Dutch side of the island, to anchor in the French side of the lagoon.

Liz and her classmates. While here we heard about a course being offered by the Maritime School of the West Indies called STCW'95 it is a requirement for all crew on vessels being offered for charter, basically megayachts. As Liz is considering this as a career option, it was a good idea for her to do the course while we made our repairs. These photos were taken on the last day of the course during the firefighting practical training. The other modules were Personal Safety and Social Responsibility, Personal Survival Techniques and First Aid. We found the school to be most professional and well run. We recommend them to anyone.

"You two go into that compartment" One of the St Maarten Fire Department Instructors sorts out his students.

Liz changes into her firefighting gear.

Dragging the "victim" out of the "smoke filled" compartment. The limited visibility is simulated by an opaque wrap over the BA mask visor.

Here Marco gets the barbie going......

only to have it extinguished by a "strike a pose" serious blast of water based AFFF.

Liz takes a tinkle...

They also had to practice getting into a liferaft and how to right it in case it capsizes.

This is the job we had to do while Liz was on her course. The main bearing (6413) of the Hundested VP propeller system started rumbling loudly as we motored up to our anchorage upon arrival. The bearing cage had split and a rivet had dropped into the race. It got flaked by the balls, and the rest of the cage disintegrated, locking the bearing up. Fortunately the outer race spun in the housing preventing massive damage. I was able to remove all the debris, and push the balls out of the bearing. We have ordered another one, but need to be out of the water to fit it. In the meantime......

....I made up this little trick, it is a split cage, along with the other half (not shown) it bolts together, the brass studs keep the rolling elements from touching each other, and the curved portions maintain the studs in position. (Note the Tennis ball under the lexan of the Seachest, to keep the lexan clean)

A great treat to me, the aircraft nutcase of the family, was when Liz was offered a ride in a Robinson 44 helicopter, and she asked if I could go instead. Many thanks to Mike the pilot and Jan Roosens for the offer. Jan does some wonderful aerial photography. See some of his work at

Mullet Bay.

View East across the Dutch half of the lagoon.

Sandy Ground and Marigot Bay.

While approaching to land this A340 was backtracking on 09.