I decided a few years back that I really wanted to enjoy the cruising lifestyle on board a boat. With Maryse along side, I had a soul mate that also embraced the same dream. After a couple of return trips to the Bahamas I realized that the boat I had, although well equipped and fitted out, was not the boat on which I wanted to cross larger stretches of water. Hence the shopping began for a new boat.
The end result was the purchase of Ambition .... a beautiful Hylas 46.
Our 2002 Hylas 46
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Leaving St Martin for Ile Fourchue
It was good to finally get out of St Martin lagoon. St Martin however was not
so eager to let us go. When we arrived in the lagoon, there are more than a few
shallow spots and we did touch bottom a little on the way in. The notion of actually installing buoy’s ALL the way through to identify the channel
apparently is still but a plan – ½ are installed but that is it. I was told
that I had cut the corner so upon leaving, took what I though was a better
route out. Well I really stuffed Ambition hard into the mud and sand bottom. At
50,000 lbs plus, stopping quickly even
from a slow speed does not occur instantly! I tried to reverse out, I tried to
wiggle back and forth. I only made it worse. Two other boaters came to our
assistance and with both of them pulling and Ambition at 3600 RPM we slowly got
back into deeper water.
By this time however, we had missed the
afternoon bridge opening and I needed some time to gather back together my
The following morning, Maryse and I took
the dinghy out and with a tape marking at 7 feet, we used a bunch of abandoned
boats as reference points to find enough water to get Ambition out of the
lagoon. We left well in advance of the afternoon bridge opening and following
our sounded route, we made it out of the lagoon without any bottom contactat all….. YYEESSS!!
We topped up on fuel $45US for 35 gallons
and refilled the water tanks 165 gallons for $20.A much better cost than what we paid in some
places in BVI.
We hustled off to Anse Grande Case to
participate in the Tuesday night Carnival. Grande Case is renowned as the food
center of St Martin. There is ABSOLUTELY no shortage of restaurants to choose
from. We met Caffe Latte there and followed their lead as they had been here
the week prior. WOW what an adventure. The streets are lined with vendor stalls
selling some beautiful jewelry, art works, food and of course fashion wear. Dinner
was OUTSTANDING and the wine awesome. The French Islands really do food right!
The following morning we left St Martin and
sailed to Ile Fourchue. A fantastic sail with beam winds of 15 to 20 knots and ocean
swells of less than 6 feet, Ambition was loving the ride!
Ile Fourchue is part of St Barth but is privately owned but uninhabited. You can tell that it was an island created by a volcano, where now the western side has completely eroded leaving behind a beautiful bay protected from swells. Since it is also part of the St Barth Maritime Reserve we gladly pick up one of the free mooring balls for the night.
In the business we call this a bad sailing day!
The story was that there were many goats here that eat everything. When all was left was the prickles on the plants - they eat them too! That was their undoing and only the tough made it through coughing and hacking! They were removed from the island and probably became goat stew with prickles!
Lucky for us the island has recovered and grasses and trees have regrown.
Tomorrow we head for St Barth and Port Gustavia to clear customs.