Last week we arrived at St. Martin. Another tiny Caribbean island – this one is only 90km² and strangely it is divided roughly 60/40 between France and the Netherlands. We are currently anchored in “France” so cheap wine, cheap cheese and cheap bread. This is the way France should be – everyone speaks English, it is always warm and there is no tax.
This is the island where we have finally accepted that what we are really doing is completely refitting our boat and just finding nice places to do it. In the last week we have been working on the boat every day.
We removed the hundred kilograms of rust that used to be our anchor chain and replaced it with a shiny new 50 meter long version. We also added some nice little colored markers to show how much chain is out. The chain is no longer dirty, no longer jams and you can see the markers. Anchoring is suddenly much more fun.
We also rewired the battery box. The perfect combination for such a job is an electrician and a nurse. The electrician curls up so he can get at the bits and the nurse hands him the tools as required. After the third crimp, she knows the process as well as he does and the right tools appear magically uncalled for.
We also managed to finally dig the corroded plastic out of the towed generator that should allow us to now convert it to a wind generator. That was fun as we did it in a “metal container workshop” under the Caribbean sun. We used to pay to use the sauna in Allgäu – now we just work on the boat.
Our fridge is Swedish and strange. It sort of did what we wanted sometimes but we never understood it. The only manual we had was in Swedish and for a different model. Luckily we met a dutch guy who sailed round the world as a young man and met a Swedish girl who took him home with her. He had a manual in English but still for another fridge. But he had similar problems so suggested we change the wires that feed the fridge. We did that and it is now less strange.
And today? Today is Sunday so we planned on doing nothing and sleeping all morning. Great plan. Unfortunately the Swiss neighbor was leaving to cross the Atlantic at sunrise and realized he was missing the “vital part” so swam across to our boat – his dinghy was stowed in the locker – and knocked us up to help him find it.
But this afternoon we finally managed an afternoon of “being tourists”. Visit fort, wander streets, drink beer, video chat with friends, read and sleep.