Day 54, Year 1: We Made It!
Date: Saturday, December 10, 2005
Weather: Beautiful!
Air Temperature: 84 degrees F
Latitude: N 18 degrees 04.08 minutes
Longitude: W 63 degrees 05.58 minutes
Location: Marigot Bay, St. Martin

Wow! We have successfully completed our first passage. It was a long thirteen and a half days from Hampton, Virginia, to St. Martin, but as we came into Baie de Marigot and watched the water color change from cobalt blue to turquoise, we knew the rough times had been worth it. As we sit here in the anchorage, we can watch tiny minnows swim around the dinghy. The water is crystal clear.

I came on watch at 0400 this morning and saw the first light of day trying to break through in the eastern sky. Unlike most of the other mornings of our passage, this one was overcast, with storm clouds all around. Despite the clouds, it was obvious that things were different. There were sea birds flying in groups, dolphins swimming along with us, and at about 0600 Mark got up and spotted the first sight of land. On the charts, it is just noted as “Sombrero.” It was just a rock in the middle of the ocean with a couple of manmade structures, but it was land. Around 0800, we could see the next land mark, Dog Island off Anguilla. It remained cloudy, but by midmorning we could see the shadow of St. Martin in the distance. It was a good feeling to know land was so near.

We made a quick trip into town when we got here to check in with immigration, but it was late in the day, so exploring will happen tomorrow. The one thing we did find out is that everyone speaks French.. This is definitely a French port with one exception. The one place we went to buy something rang up in US dollars and when the person opened the cash register, there were only US dollars inside. Where’s the Euro?

This evening we lie at anchor for the first time in weeks. There is a slight swell coming into the bay and the boat rolls gently from side to side. The breeze has almost died, and it promises to be a hot night. That’s what we came here for, but now we have to adjust to it.

051210 Day 54 Caribbean, St. Martin–Arrival in St. Martin