Thursday, January 31, 2008

Another beautiful winter's day in St Martin

Can't believe it is the last day of January already. Where has the time gone?

I just wanted to share this photo that I took this morning from out of our forward hatch. Not a bad winter's day, is it?

We are anchored in Simpson Bay, Sint-Maarten, Netherland Antilles. Just a 10-minute dinghy ride through the Lagoon over to Marigot, St. Martin (the French side).

Hope you had a nice day, too!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

St Maarten Dinghies

Earlier this month (January 2008) there was a fatal, night-time dinghy accident in the Lagoon over by the French bridge (two dinghies). We've been told that since then that the Sint Maarten Coast Guard has been requiring that dinghies need to have a life jacket for each passenger, an anchor, oars, and an all-around white light (or maybe you can squeak by with a flashlight).

The Coast Guard does not display navigation lights on their dinghies so be careful. We spotted them one night just inside the bridge waiting for non-compliant vessels. Two nights ago I heard voices at about 2a.m. and they had stopped a couple in their dinghy and were by the sand barges. Afterwards, when the dinghy passed by our boat I heard the couple say something about flashlights. They didn't appear to have one...

Also, there are some new buoys in the Lagoon so be very careful, especially watch out for the half-sunken ones at night.

You've been warned :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Funny cat photo

Here's a funny photo that Bob directed my attention to this morning. Pretty good expressions on the kids, too!

This picture came from Mr. Boat Blog, Everything Wet ... don't know where he found it, but thought we'd share...

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Amazon's Kindle Reader - New in our Store

We like books, but unfortunately there is not enough room on our CAL-34 for all the books and everything else we would like to have with us.

We do have a few electronic magazine subscriptions with Zinio which is cool. We have subscriptions to American Cinematographer, Mac World, Cruising World, Saveur, etc. I prefer to read paper but the magazines are easily damaged (especially now that we have two kittens!) and they are heavy and space-consuming things. I find Zinio's interface easy to use and easy to read.

So, now has come out with their new-fangled Kindle Reader. Cool. They have thousands of books, plus magazines and newspapers!

We have added a KINDLE section to our AMAZON STORE: CLICK HERE

I also included the new Apple MacBook AIR computers to the store: CLICK HERE

Write a bit more later, as I'm now busy adding stuff to the store.

Nice day today in SXM... a bit breezy and a few drops of rain but definitely better than a lot of places!

Friday, January 11, 2008

FRIDAY CAT BLOGGING - My Brother's Ragdolls

No, they're not boat cats but they sort of qualify because they are my brother's cats.

There are six Ragdoll cats testing out the new quilt that they helped my sister-in-law make.

Front left is Koko, then Edgar, Brutus, Priscilla, Aquila and Frankie.

It looks like they've left room for Jet the dog to join them :)

Thursday, January 10, 2008


The gang is back... The megayachts have returned to St. Maarten after their holiday charters. Boats with domes everywhere!

Here's the winner (below) with the largest dome. Does size matter?

Don't see many megayachts with a Canadian flag.

Budget Marine SXM - Unmarked Price Hikes

I just wanted to warn people that Budget Marine in St. Maarten has raised their prices on most items so check your receipt...

Monday when we were at Budget Marine, Bob picked up a pair of small fittings and was talking to someone while I paid for them. I thought they were pretty expensive but so it goes.... Bob was surprised when I told him they were $8.30/each and with our 20% discount for this item it came to $11.65.

Budget has been bad lately. Most of their items are not priced and only have the bar code. If you are lucky, there is a price tag sticker on the shelf or at the end of the rack. This one had a ticket at the end of the rack and it said $5.60. That's a big jump from $5.60 to $8.30 so I went to the cashier and I expected her to refuse my complaint and just tell me that the sticker is wrong and the price in the computer is right (I've had this happen too many times). But surprise... she gave me a refund! Plus the old price had a 30% discount for my account, so I only charged $3.92 for BOTH items and got $7.70 back. Wow, I was pleasantly shocked!.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Linda from the 72-foot charter yacht Drumbeat (one of our favorites) sent us an email today along with 14 great dolphin photos.

See the post and photos CLICK HERE

Thanks Linda!

NEVIS - New Yacht Mooring System

When we were attending the Charter Yacht Show in Antigua a few weeks ago, we were visiting a charteryacht and when we came back out into the cockpit to inspect the exterior of the vessel, there was this horrible little man monopolizing three of the yacht's (female) crew members showing them a promotional DVD about Nevis and spouting off about something... It was so loud we couldn't talk to the captain and the captain requested the man to leave as he was disruptive and annoying.

I managed to snag a Nevis Air & Sea Ports Authority (NASPA) Yacht Mooring System pamphlet from him. As you can tell, we did not hit it off. He was very rude and had a superior attitude... like I was "just a woman"...

Anyway, that's enough of that rant... now let's look at their new mooring policy...

NASPA Moorings are found along the West Cost of Nevis from Windy Hill to Charlestown.

Conditions of Mooring Use and Regulations:
  1. All vessels must comply with the Immigration Nevis Air and Sea Ports Authority (NASPA) and Customs laws of St. Kitts and Nevis.
  2. All vessels approaching Nevis are required to contact the Nevis Air and Sea Ports authority (NASPA) on VHF Channel 16 in order to be assigned a mooring within the first 24 hours upon arrival.
  3. Vessels qualifying for mooring use must proceed to specifically-designated mooring after clearance.
  4. Coastal mooring permits must be obtained prior to proceeding coastwise.
  5. No vessel may use the moorings at any time unless authorized by the NASPA.
  6. No anchoring of any vessel is permited without the authorization of NASPA.
  7. The discharging of any bilge or sewage or the dumping of any form of litter or pollutant into the water is strictly prohibited.
  8. All moorings may be used for short or long-term use.
  9. Spear fishing is strictly prohibited. Harvesting of immature conch or lobster or an endangered marine species is strictly prohibited.
  10. No flora, fauna or artefact may be damaged or removed during mooring, snorkeling or any other activity.
  11. Water skiing may not originate from any moored vessel without permission from NASPA.
  12. Jet-skis or other water sports vehicles must be registered with NASPA before use.
Mooring rates for 2008-2010:

- Class 1 : 0-35 feet
Up to 2 days: EC$ 27 / US$ 10
2 days to 1 week: EC$ 40 / US$ 15

- Class 2 : 36-60 feet
Up to 2 days: EC$ 40 / US$ 15
2 days to 1 week: EC$ 54 / US$ 20

- Class 3 : 61-90 feet
Up to 2 days: EC$ 54 / US$ 20
2 days to 1 week: EC$ 67 / US$ 25

Here's some other info from this pamphlet:

It's the Law
  • Animals are not permitted to come ashore unless cleared by the Veterinary Officer.
  • Do not bring ashore any fruits, plants or plant parts without the permission of the Department of Agriculture.
  • Do not dump refuse in our waters or along our coastline.
  • Do not take any coral, sponge, marine algae or starfish from the waters or beaches.
  • Do not damage coral reefs by anchoring. Use the moorings provided by Nevis Air & Sea Ports Authority.
  • Do not remove, damage, empty or cast adrift any fishing net, fish pot/trap, gear, tackle or other fishing equipment while in the waters of Nevis.
  • Do not use spear guns for fishing in the waters of Nevis.
  • Do not dive without a locally-licensed Dive Operator.
  • Special permission is needed to pass through Fishing Priority areas or Marine Preserves when entering or leaving port.
  • Do not anchor in any designated "safe swimming zone."
  • Do not exceed a speed of 2 knots when operating tenders or other water crafts in the swimming zon right-of-way to the beach. All operators are requested to keep a sharp look out at all times when making way through this passage.
Another place off our list!

So it goes...

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

BUFFY & WILLOW - 2 months old

Buffy & Willow are 2 months old today (born Nov.1,2007) !!!

Willow likes cider. Last night she had her nose in Bob's glass and was trying to lap it up! We'll have to watch out for this one :)

They like to sleep on the quilt that Auntie Laura made for Bullwinkle.

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2008 - So It Goes

The beginning of a new year is always exciting. New things to come, new things to look forward to, etc.

It is another beautiful day in St. Maarten. Here's a photo I took around 10am this morning. Nice start to the new year.

Still lots of private planes at the airport. Sorry, but I didn't have the energy this morning to dinghy over and get a closer photo. You can click on the picture and get the full-sized picture if you like. There are more than a dozen over there...

We are going to have a wonderful New Year's brunch... Blinis, Scottish (of course) Smoked Salmon, with Sour Cream... and perhaps a nice bottle of French Normandy Cider.

Bonne Annee!

Kittens everywhere!

Blondie wrote to us to congratulate us on our new crew members, Willow & Buffy. She also adopted a new kitten on the same day... cool.

Check it out on Blondie's web site My View From 30,000 Feet

I find her blog very interesting... especially her recent post on delayed, cancelled, and overbooked flights over the holidays. Don't the airlines realize that many of their crew will "time out" by the end of the year which is the busy holiday season???? duh!

Here is a picture of Annette's (Blondie) new kitty, Emmie...

All the best!