Monday, February 10, 2014

Ile Fourchue

When we left the Dutch lagoon through the Simpson Bay Bridge on St Maarten, we were on our way towards St Barth’s with a plan to stop over at the deserted island of Ile Fourchue, accessible only by boat.  We beat into 27 kt winds and 9-foot seas, trying everything to get through it – tacking back and forth, looking for another destination, and finally submitting, for four hours.  

We were happy to pick up one of the two mooring balls on Ile Fourchue that were empty.  We soon realized that the three strand line on the pennant only had one strand left and the mooring would probably fail in any big gust.  Fortunately, one of the day chartered catamarans from St Barth’s dropped their ball right before sunset and we maneuvered over to pick it up.  After close inspection, we decided the new one was acceptable, which is good because it blew hard all night with several torrential down pours. 

We hiked around Ile Fourchue for some great views of the Atlantic Ocean, St Barth’s, St Maarten, and beyond.  Kala was very excited to have a beach to run and play – which she hasn’t really had since the BVI.

The next day called for a bit of boat maintenance.  Since we could finally see the bottom of Terrapin again, we scrubbed the growth and barnacles off the prop.  Baxter also checked the zinc grounding plate bolted to the bottom of the hull that literally disintegrated as he touched it.  With the “dust” of the zinc floating around, a 5-ft barracuda decided to check it out and see if there was anything interesting he needed to know about.  I quickly jumped in the dinghy and offered to get the new zinc for Baxter which he then bolted to the bottom of the hull (all of this underwater, of course.) 

We recognized another boat in the mooring field from St Maarten and dinghied over to say hello.  We made plans to get together later for sundowners and we were so glad we did.  Jim and Cheryl on SV Ptarmigan, hailing from Breckinridge, CO, have been cruising for over 34 years and have so many great stories to tell of their time in Alaska, the South Pacific, Thailand, South Africa and hundreds of other places.  They have been in the Caribbean for four years and had great information about some of their favorite islands and ports.  They also have a cute little Yorkie named Buster, who is their third dog aboard Ptarmigan since they set out in the 80s.  They even used to have a bird. 


Today’s winds are supposed to increase, which means the seas will increase also – but we are fortunately in a place where we have hiking, snorkeling and protection from the weather to hide out.  We don’t have internet access, but we will enjoy that for a short time as well.  Off to explore another reef…

The line waiting for the bridge to open.  If you lag behind, the bridge will close without notice and you can't leave for another 6 hours.  Notice that most boats are "treading water" fighting wind and current waiting for the traffic to move.

There is usually a crowd of landlubbers at Simpson Bay Marina whose only view of the megayachts is as they pass through the bridge.  We took pictures of them - they took pictures of us.

Il Fourchue.  Are you for hiking, Reuben?

Wind and waves as Kala and Baxter admire the power of the wide open ocean.

View from Ile Fourchue facing west - Terrapin is in bay on right.

St Barth's - five miles from Ile Fourchue.  Would you swim across if you had to?

Sunset on Terrapin (second boat from right)
On a deserted island with no patisserie, I am left to my own devices to make pancakes.

Double rainbow makes any bay amazing!


When in France, expect to see a lot of naked people….booze cruise of naked people - and they were not shy.

Happy Terrapin

Beautiful Day.


Kala happy to be playing on a beach again.

He must not have checked his mooring ball.
Time for a hike! 
Make sure you hydrate.
Happy girl.
Gillespie Selfie!

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