The Advantages of a Do Over (1997)

St. Martin, St. Barts, and Anguilla

Saturday: Oyster Pond, St. Martin to
Orient Bay
Sunday: Orient Bay to Columbier, St. Barts
Monday: Columbier to Gustavia
Tuesday: Gustavia to Marigot Bay, St. Martin
Wednesday: Marigot Bay to Road Harbor
to Crocus Bay, Anguilla
Thursday: Lay Day in Crocus Bay
Friday: Crocus Bay to Orient Bay, St. Martin
Saturday: Orient Bay to Oyster Pond
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Our second trip to the BVI, in 1995, taught us the advantages of the “do over.” Combining the comfort of sailing known waters with the chance to visit places missed the first time around makes a revisit fun even for the jaded skippers.

On our first visit to St. Barts we didn’t even try taking the boats into Gustavia’s tiny harbor. This time we tried a mid-day approach and, as we’d hoped, found recently vacated moorings available inside.

Getting moorings inside Gustavia harbor was a highlight of the trip.

Unfortunately, our plans to spend extra time in our favorite snorkeling spot–Crocus Bay on Anguilla–did not work out so well. Recent weather had stirred up the silt so much the visibility on Anguilla’s north coast was down to a few feet at most. Our much anticipated snorkeling expedition became nothing more than a long swim.

One stop we didn’t repeat on this trip was Sandy Island, where, in 1993 some of our crew overindulged in the local boat drinks. The sandbar island had been nearly eliminated by hurricanes.

John drives us around the eastern tip of Anguilla

In 1993 only one of our three boats had visited the open market in Marigot Bay on St. Martin. This time we all put in there and cooks on both boats had a great time selecting produce, spices, and even some conch for fritters.

Mark hauls in the Jib

Captain Oliver’s, the charter base hotel with its plexi-glass-walled pool and small tropical zoo, lived up to our fond memories. Indeed, Coco the parrot was still enthusiastic about having his back rubbed (despite the signs warning that he bites), and the minah bird still liked practicing his french with Marguerite.

“Bonjour,” he’d mutter.

“Bonjour!” she’d reply in an annoying voice, proving that birds are experts at making humans imitate them.

Chris in Crocus Bay: Not the great snorkeling we hoped for
The glass walled pool is irresistable: Mia, Mark, Ellen, Catherine, John, Marguerite, Michael

Michael, Marguerite, John, and Catherine: They say shipmates begin to look alike . . .
Cocktails on the afterdeck (so to speak): Catherine, John, Erich, Fred (in the dark), Doug, Chris, Kim, and Caroline

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