Journey: St. Martin, Anguilla, St. Johns, St. Thomas, Florida, South Carolina

Water in abundance

written June 25th 2006

Much too much time we spent in Guadeloupe, rather involuntarily. hurricane season comes closer and closer. we have to rush north. First St. Martin, French part anchorage. Next the outboard for the dinghy, indispensable for coming ashore, says hasta la bye bye. We had bought that bloody thing only 3 years before in Long Island, NY. So it's marinatime again. Finding a replacement isn't much of a deal and the island is dutyfree. we sure love that part of it.

Here we meet ITHAKA, a sister boat, built by a very energetic young Argentine woman and her sister in Brazil. During their construction phase we had had contact via email several times. None of us would have believed that we would finally meet just by chance. Sometimes the world really seems to be a village...

Next morning they are leaving for the Azores, we are just going around the corner, to Anguilla. I wonder, when we will see her again...

What a relief, relaxed Caribbean life again after the tourist trap with all its hustle and bustle. Customs, Immigration on the beach just alongside the open air, bare foot bars, turquoise water and a soft trade wind. Gabriele takes off to Florida for 2 weeks to meet her friend. I hang around for a few more days and then take off singlehanded to the US Virgin Islands.

Quite an ordeal, stay awake for 30 hours with a non cooperating weather and do everything alone. Anyway, I finally reach St. John's without mishap. Here we meet again and immediately retire to the National Park, where things are much calmer.

Time is running out fast, so back to the hubub of a big city, Carlotte Amalie on St. Thomas. This is Cruise Ship country, shopping, shopping, shopping. Nothing you can't buy, but the prices are only good for the vendors. The whole town is colourful, clean, kept in pristine condition. We enjoy all the little corners and back alleys stemming from Dutch colonial times. But the only thing we really need to do is stock up for the 1300 nm to North Florida.

On our last day we enjoy the privilege of watching a really hot regatta right through the middle of the anchorage.

Everyday life at sea again, during daytime maintenance and repair, more or less successful cooking, depending on the sea state. we are using every minute, we can spare to get some sleep, nights are long and dark and lonely. no moon, no other boats, just occasionally a few stars. Watches are 2 on, 2 off, but it takes time to get used to this again and find the rhythm. 14 days and nights to Jacksonville, FL, where we arrive with literally no diesel, water or food left.Welcome addition supplied courtesy of Neptune. This one lasted for 3 days.

Gabriele goes shopping and I try my best with the authorities. Very uncomplicated and friendly here. We take on Diesel and water, the next morning we are on our way again towards Charleston, SC. 30 hours later we realize that we would arrive there in complete darkness, something we always try to avoid. So we turn into the next inlet, Ediston Island. A bit tricky but fascinating. We discover a jewel on Seabrook Island, Bohicket Creek with a brand new, half empty marina right in the middle of the seemingly endless marshes of this waterworld. Peace and quiet do wonders to our tired souls and bodies.

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