Each marina is a little different whether it is in the facilities or services offered or in the way they park the boats. In Marina Fort Louis the boats are Med-moored. This type of mooring is so called from the Mediterranean where there are so many boats that they had to figure out how to use every inch of space. You pick up a mooring ball in the front and back up to the dock. Then dock lines attach the stern of the boat to the dock. This was our first time Med-mooring the boat. It went pretty smoothly, but it took a few days to get all the lines right so that we could 1) get off the boat without hurting ourselves, 2) keep the boat from hitting the dock, and 3) decrease the sway from the surge to minimize pounding against our neighbors. We took the middle of three open spots, but a boat has since come in (and out repeatedly) on our port side.
Our boats are so close they are touching , so we had to put fenders in-between to cushion the bumping.
This is the marina office. In and of itself a boring picture, except that this was Silver Lynx in front of it. Silver Lynx was the boat our friend, Bill Geiger, helped deliver from Maryland to Saint Martin. I guess the owner is now on the boat and decided to visit Marina Fort Louis. It looks like with some TLC it could be a nice boat.
The marina sells ice and has an office for Island Water World deliveries. Island Water World is like a miniature version of West Marine. There are other conveniences as well, like the vending machine. It has a cold drink side and a snack side! Kinda cool.
But when you look closely, you realize just how varied your options are. Some lucky kid could choose from Cheetos, a Heineken beer, Marlboro cigarettes, or a Bounty candy bar for instance — and only 2€ each.
There are also four washing machines and two dryers. Of course, only one washer works, so it makes a good place to park your bike, too. Ingenious.
The marina even offers our visitors the convenience of parking at a dinghy dock. It is a sectional plastic dock that bends and twists with your every step, so it also gives folks some balance practice and an opportunity to take a dip in the water if they are not so sure footed.
We love having visitors onboard. Dave’s parents came to stay with us for two weeks. Dave’s dad, John, helped us out with our long list of boat work items, which was much appreciated. Francois and Vanessa from Why Knot IV stopped by for a visit. Some of you may remember them from Season 1. We met in the Bahamas and traveled together to the Dominican Republic and met up again in the BVIs. It’s great to have them caught up to us again! John was explaining all kinds of technical stuff and Francois actually understood. Francois’ English has much improved since the Bahamas! We are very impressed! If only my French had improved.
Believe it or not, everyone in this picture is having a good time. That’s the problem with candid shots. I caught them at just the wrong moment. But trust me, we were very happily sharing some fresh baguettes and some of the delicious O&Co products I brought from our New York days. Recipe: Basil infused olive oil+truffle oil+oregano+sea salt. Yum! In this picture you can see that Dave’s mom, Angie, is wearing a sling. She took a tumble on her very first day in St Martin and received a small fracture to her shoulder. Oh man! Not the way we hoped our visit would begin. It made getting around the boat challenging for her, but she took it like a pro and didn’t let it get her down. We really enjoyed having Dave’s folks and we hope my mom will come sometime soon.
The charter company that shares our dock is Tradewinds, but this Dream Yacht Charters boat made an emergency stop for some repairs. This lucky guy got to go to the top of the mast while it was blowing 20-25 knots! At least being docked minimizes the motion of the boat, but the Christmas Winds arrived in their full glory and every day has been blowing that hard with squalls adding 5-10 knots on top of it.
Never a dull moment at the docks, I tell you. We received notifications that a catamaran was stolen from a charter company in Croatia. This ballsy thief changed the name of the boat from Martintin to Papillon and joined the ARC to cross the Atlantic!!! Can you imagine? We were amazed to see it pull into Marina Fort Louis. The boat had been tracked and was expected to arrive into Saint Martin. I’m not sure if it was recovered before or after arriving, but we watched the progress as they stripped the false name back off, performed repairs, and set the boat back to rights. I wonder what they will do with it now? I can’t imagine them sailing it back to Croatia to put back into service. Sell it? I also wonder if an arrest was made.
Can you see him? Look to the right of the stolen boat.
No Boson’s chair to get up there. He had to climb ladders! At least it looks like he was wearing a harness. A squall was passing and we were getting over 30 knots of wind!
He had a long-handled brush and was scrubbing the domes. Many of these mega yachts are available for charter and the crew is tasked with keeping them sparkling. I never thought about them having to clean up there, since no guests will see that up close and personal, but there you go. Every inch must be cleaned.
Dave showed you my trip up in the Boson’s chair to check out the vibration in the wind generator, but Dave also took a turn going up. It seems to be the thing to do in a marina: work on the highest spots on the boat.
I hoisted Dave up using the main halyard and electric winch. It was surprisingly easy. I am glad I wasn’t hand cranking him up, but the part I was most worried about was bringing him back down slowly. Turns out it was easier than handling a jib flopping while furling it up. And yes, that was another squall coming through. Good thing he didn’t have to go to the top!
Once Dave hung the halyard, we were able to hang the Livin’ Life flag Dave’s parents had made for us. Aren’t they sweet? Well, now that we’ve thoroughly explored the marina, we need to get out and get some exercise.