Monday, January 2, 2017


I just wrapped up a long work stint - 11 out of 12 days - with a long New Years Eve layover on the island of St. Martin. I've been there once before, a few years ago, when I raced in the Heineken Regatta with a number of friends (winning "Fastest Bareboat Around the Island" in the process). Windbird has been there twice with her previous owners, and will visit again during our Caribbean itinerary. But it's also a special place because of the airport's role as a sort of mecca for airliner spotters and other airplane geeks (like yours truly). The approach and landing over Maho Beach makes for some of modern aviation's most iconic photos. As an airplane-besotted tween I drooled over online pics of Air France and KLM 747s landing at SXM, and would then recreate the act on Microsoft Flight Simulator. So it was pretty cool - and a little surreal - to be landing a Boeing 757 there myself some twenty years later.

While I was ordering a painkiller at Sunset Bar and waiting for the Air France A340 to land, Dawn was moving us out of our temporary beach apartment and onto Windbird. Yes, we are liveaboards at last! The boat still isn't quite done, as noted in my last post (supposedly the stem iron goes back on tomorrow), but at least it's in the water and back together enough for us to settle in. Dawn did a lot of work cleaning and organizing while I was working, and I gotta say the boat looks pretty darn good.

Dawn hosted an impromptu New Years party on Windbird - Dan and Isabelle from Epiic and Jon and Sarah from Polox joined her aboard for appetizers and drinks. Kinda funny that we have three young newbie cruising couples all headed the same way, all trying to get off the dock and head south. I was kinda bummed I missed the party...though it was hard to be too bummed in St. Martin! Jon and Sarah left yesterday before I got back to Charleston, but I'm sure we'll run into them again down the line. They're spending tonight at anchor in Charleston Harbor and will head offshore tomorrow.

I got into CHS late last night and slept in today. I spent much of the day setting up and playing with our new electronics. I really like our new Garmin 7607 chartplotter. It's pretty intuitive and integrates really nicely with the radar, autopilot, AIS, and our iPads/iPhones. I downloaded the manual to our Icom M422 VHF and played with the DSC functions a bit only to discover that the old MMSI is still programmed in and cannot be reprogrammed without taking it to a dealer. The Tidal Marine Electronics guys are coming by tomorrow to finish the autopilot install so I'll see if they know the trick to reprogramming it before actually taking it out of the boat.

This afternoon Dawn gave me a haircut & tonight we went grocery shopping. We're still getting our provisioning list together and will do a major provisioning run for non-perishable goods before heading south. It's easier to do it while we have a car than waiting until we get to Florida. We really have a lot to do in the next week before heading south and I was rather lazy today but will hopefully get a jumpstart on the list tomorrow. A lot will depend on whether the stem iron job finally gets done - then the riggers can finish their job, and then we can rerig the boat, and so on....

No comments:

Post a Comment