• close family • small boat • big world •

Just Can't Stop Looking

March 29, 2016

by Greg
At Anchor, French Lagoon, St. Martin

We've spent plenty of time in the past living on our boat on the hard (on land in a boatyard). It ain't that much fun. At anchor, the boat has a pleasant motion, cool breezes blow through, your neighbors are hundreds of yards away, life is good. Boatyards however are hot, dirty, dusty, toxic places. After only hours in the yard, your boat will be covered with grit. Getting off and on the boat requires climbing a ladder between the deck and the ground. Falling overboard at anchor just gets you wet - on the hard it could kill you.

A view of Cole Bay, Sint Maarten, from our balcony at Port de Plaisance.

So this time (hauling the boat to repaint the bottom with anti-fouling) we treated ourselves to a room on land. The Port de Plaisance resort is definitely past its heyday. They are attempting to renovate it, so most of the rooms are either boarded up or are being gutted. Our room was a nice enough place (state of the art in the early eighties). but the room next door was being gutted, so we had jackhammer noises all day, and every morning I'd head out to the balcony to find it blanketed with a fresh coat of destruction dust. The casino was still open, but all the restaurants are closed. But we got a great rate, and the bed Paula and I shared was at least three times bigger than what we share on Daystar. Living on a boat has made us appreciate even the most basic pleasures of land.

And we had a great view. I spent an hour every morning on our balcony at Port de Plaisance drinking coffee and watching boats in Cole Bay on the Dutch side of the St. Martin lagoon. Even when I'm not on a boat at anchor, I still just can't stop looking at boats.

Here's a short video of some yachts in St. Martin from the balcony of Port de Plaisance with some notes:
  • At 0: 37, you'll see Yalla, a 240' motor yacht owned by the richest family in Egypt. (Each member of the family individually is a billionaire). We saw eight crew members on board the entire time we were there, but there might have been more. The "garage" in back is a deck for the swimming pool inside behind it.  
  • At 1: 06, you'll see a very pretty motor yacht heading for the Simpson Bay drawbridge. I don't use that term about very many mega yachts, but this one has a bit more of an elegant classic look rather than the typical look of a floating condo.
  • At 1: 16, you'll see a megayacht out in Simpson Bay that I believe is Eclipse, the second largest private yacht in the world at 533'. Eclipse is owned by Roman Abramovich, a Russian oligarch. It has a missile defense system. Mr. Abramovich probably needs it. 
  • At 1: 30, you'll see yellow things zipping across. These are pairs of tourists on little guided motorboat tours. Dozens of them swarm through the lagoon on their tours. They always remind me of a James Bond movie. I can see it now: dozens of yellow motorboat-riding assassins come after him. Oh, the creative ways he would come up with to deal with these guys....  

Here are a few more pictures from Bobby's Megayard where we were hauled.

Handsome Dominican steel cargo vessel. We got a tour. Stay tuned for upcoming post on this by Cash. 

The beautiful Juno, from Gannon and Benjamin. There's nothing they've done that isn't simple and beautiful.
Juno, waiting for the slings.

Noel, the yard electrician, photo-bombing. I kept telling him to flex..., flex harder, FLEX, DANG IT!!

MaxProp feathering propeller surrounded by lovely new bottom paint. Last time we hauled (eight months ago) I scrubbed it down to bare bronze and treated it with Pettit Barnacle Barrier paint. I was skeptical, but the stuff really works. Some barnacles grew, but I could flick them right off with an index finger.