The first night aboard the boat on our sail St Martin trip ended up being mildly eventful. One of the best things about the Moorings 4800 is that it comes equipped with a generator. This means you get creature comforts, like air conditioning, that makes the trip just that little bit more enjoyable.
At about 2am our generator decided to stop working. I would restart it, it would run for 10 minutes, and then shut down. After 2 attempts I decided to just leave it off since there was obviously a bigger problem that needed to be addressed.
The next morning I called Moorings when they opened at 8am. They sent someone right out to fix the generator. While most of the crew went ashore for some much-needed shopping, I stayed behind with the repairman. He quickly discovered that all of the oil had leaked out. He was able to locate and fix the leak, and in no time had us back up and running.
Once everyone returned from their shopping excursion we weighed anchor and headed for Anguilla (pronounced An-gwill-a). Our sail north to Anguilla was very sporty. With 15+ knot winds we were reaching 9 knots at times with a reef in the mainsail. During the trip I learned that on larger catamarans you need to backwind the genoa for longer than you would expect when tacking. This allows the wind to push the bow around. Otherwise your turn will be painfully slow, or you will need the engines to help get you around.
After a few jibes and tacks we passed Sandy Island to port, dropped our sails, and motored into Road Bay. Like pros we set the anchor on the east side of the shipping channel on the first try. We learned from the boat next to us that the customs officers on duty were not the friendliest to deal with. Since it was Sunday we decided to just wait until the morning to clear customs.
Customs Tip #2: Anguilla can be particular about you following proper customs protocol. Ensure that you hoist the Q-flag (solid yellow) in your starboard spreader until you clear customs. Once you clear customs, lower the Q-flag and replace it with the Anguilla flag.
The beach in Road Bay is very nice with several bars and restaurants to visit. We were able to purchase bags of ice from Roy’s Bayside Grill just to the left of the customs office off the dingy dock. I cannot remember the exact price for the bags of ice, but it did not hit me as overly expensive.
We spent the rest of the afternoon hanging around in the water off the back of our boat. I tried paddle boarding for the first time. After a few falls sent salt water up my nose I decided to just find a float and hang out with the crew. We cooked our first meal aboard and it was fantastic. I am not sure why, but the food always seems so much better when cooked and consumed on the back of a sail boat.
We also cooked our first batch of Rumcan. Yes, you read that right! There are few ways to improve on bacon, but soaking it in rum and grilling it is one of them. The recipe is simple. Separate the bacon into strips and place in a resealable bag. Add rum until the bacon is covered. Let it soak for as long as desirable. One word of caution, take extra care when grilling Rumcan. Otherwise you will end up with no eyebrows or hair on your arms. If you take your time though, it is well worth the effort… and the occasional singed arm hair.
After enjoying our dessert of Rumcan we retired for the evening. Day 2 of our sail St Martin trip was in the history books, and it was a great one.