What a Day

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Flag of Saint Martin  ,
Monday, April 30, 2012



What a day

So there we
were, wondering what to do with ourselves for the morning. We knew we had a lunch appointment on the French side, but that was still about an hour and a half away. The morning had started slowly and while leisurely eating breakfast on the terrace watched a yacht which had just entered the lagoon through the 9.30 bridge drop anchor. To take up a bit of time, started doing an odd repair that had been niggling as I'd not had the will to actually start it. Well, now seemed as good a time as any. And surprisingly it all went well and the towel rail was finally secured and would never ever fall off the wall again. While putting the tools away glanced out the huge glass doors leading to the lagoon and thought to myself, "that’s strange! I could have sworn we watched this yacht mooring up! And only about an hour ago. Then the mariners, a man & a woman clambered off the back; into their dingy and scooted away. Presumably to do some shopping. A few steps towards the doors and I honestly had to take a second look. There she was, the yacht in question, dragging her anchor, and already nearly half way towards crashing into other yachts tethered to the dock in our complex. I raced to the front gate where I spoke hurriedly to security. Steve (our regular guard) asked me to dash across the water to the lagoon master and inform him. Getting our little dingy off the raft took no time at all and Dyana threw a long rope in just in case I needed it. The little dingy flew to the harbour masters office and he really didn’t need much persuasion to act rapidly. Something that hardly ever happens
on the island. Grabbing his radio and leaping into the dingy in a matter of seconds. (I think he was thinking to himself, 'If there’s going to be a disaster, it’s NOT going to on my watch!). in reality, nobody wants an accident, because it leads to police investigations; possible litigation; and people’s names in the newspapers. Not to mention the value of damages that can
be caused by one large vessel colliding with another! By now a crowd had assembled on the dock and someone had the good idea of getting buffers off some of the yachts and large motor vessels moored in the complex and dropping them over the side to try and cushion the impact of this rogue vessel as it drifted inexorably towards  them. Roy, the harbour master just rolled his eyes to the sky as we rounded the corner as he saw the mess. He’d obviously seen it all before..... probably many times as well. Onto the radio! Calling for assistance! He actually knew the yacht had just been bought and also knew the boat broker who sold it. Now that’s a stroke of luck. And would you believe, our friend Reg was the man in question and somehow, after Roy’s phone call  he materialised out of the blue in a very short space of time. With much effort, he & I stabilised the movement of this rogue vessel so it would not be able to do any further damage. And once this was achieved, could look at the situation more calmly. Up until
then, it was merely a damage limitation exercise. And then would you believe
it, the owner returned! As we say in England, ‘what an absolute xxxxxxx dickhead.’  The first thing anyone in charge of a craft has to do is make totally sure the vessel is safe before leaving. Well, this dickhead hadn’t. Between the three of us, and the owners wife we slowly extricated the yacht from where it had fouled other boats lines and anchor chains.  And suddenly it was free. The owner had the engine on and edged it away from the moored boats. What an absolute palaver. And just to prove what an idiot he was he never even said thank you..... Now don’t you think that it just SO rude! Yes.... and so do I.

It was 12:15 and we were meeting friends in Marigot on the French side. (remember the
beginning of the blog). The dingy was already out so Dyana & I shot out the Simpson Bay Marina towards heading for the restaurant. Listening to the sshhhhhh of water under the boat as we crossed the invisible border and on towards the French harbour. We must have been about 500 yards out and smelt burning!! Yes. The unmistakable smell of fire! And there it was. What at some time in its life had been quite a nice boat, was now going up in flames. And on the water as well. Fortunately no one on board. All that was left, was a blackened and charred still mouldering  hull and with a few licks of flames emanating from within the stern. We circled it
just to make sure..... yes..... nobody in trouble...... and continued on our way. (Hope you like the video.) Lunch in the French marina was excellent with our friends, and with all the excitement, was only about five minutes late to meet them. So tonight, we’re definitely not going out, because they say that things happen in threes... and since two had already happened that day, we were certainly not taking any chances on the third.

So that night we went to Marigot, and watched the dancing girls which was a brilliant
surprise. Now don’t you think that’s a full day?
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