Redwings Round the World

Steph's Guest Log

6 - 13 March 2001

 

 
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I arrived in St. Martin on March 6th to meet Redwings. I was excited to sail
for the first time and to soak up the warm Caribbean weather. Winter in
Boston had been cold and dreary. Much to my surprise, Redwings was not tied
to a dock. Rather the boat was in the middle of Simpson's lagoon. I had
previously stayed on Redwings when it was kept in the Barcelona Marina. I
had expected the same. We took a dinging to the boat around 11:00 p.m. The
crew of Redwings are on Island time, not Eastern time. The crew subtly
hinted that it was way past their bedtime and I should go to my cabin and
get some sleep.

Quickly, I adjusted to life on Redwings. Early to bed, early to rise. The
day started off with Coffee at 7:00 a.m. followed by the Security net at
8:15 with Melanie and the weather report with swell guru, Davy Jones. Much
to my surprise Simpson lagoon is a high crime lagoon. The security net
reported a number of boat break ins as well as a dinghy theft. However I
felt safe with my captain (Aaron) and cook (Colleen) on board. 

On Wednesday, I ran errands for the Cook to prepare for our sail to Orient
bay and later St. Barths. I quickly realized that living on a boat does make
day to day errands a little more difficult. We went swimming and soaked up
some sun. The water felt great. Dinner was a fabulous Pandoori chicken
served with a Japanese style salad. I wish Duggan had been as good a cook in
college. Accompanying the dinner was a number of Heinekens. Heineken proved
to be the drink of choice.

On Thursday, we sailed to Orient bay in St. Martin. Although it was just a
motor sail, I felt good that my stomach held up.  We then went snorkeling
and cruised over to a nudist beach. Much to Aaron's chagrin, I kept my
clothes on.  The cook followed up the fabulous chicken with some wonderful
Chili. The nights were my favorite part of sailing. Having a couple brews
and barking with good friends under the stars in 70 degree weather is my
idea of a good time.

On Friday we set sail for St. Barths. I had been warned by my father that it
would be a treacherous crossing. I prepared by filling my stomach with
granola bars, tangerines and crackers. Unfortunately about 1/2 hour later
those same granola bars, tangerines, and crackers would find their way back
up and onto the side of the boat. Luckily, a wave crashed onto the boat
taking  my barf to the bottom of the ocean. Curled up in a corner listening
to Macy Gray's CD (three times in a row) I stayed strong and prayed we would
be in St. Barths quickly. The boat was at about a 75 degree angle throughout
the sail. We anchored in Gustavia and headed for town. St. Barths is great.
It felt good to be on land and there was plenty of sassy shopping to be had.
Duggan spotted David Letterman while I pigged out on ice cream. She saw him
twice, but had no confidence in her celebrity sitting abilities. I saw the
back of his head and confirmed his identity. We had drinks at Jimmy Buffet's
old bar, Le Select, the basis for his song "Cheeseburger in paradise" and
later a great meal in a French restaurant.

On Saturday, we headed back to St. Barths proper for more shopping and if
not a cheeseburger in paradise, at least French fries dipped in mayo
paradise. We then moved Redwings from Gustovia to Columbia, another harbor
in St. Barths. Columbia was a beautiful spot. The best part was landing the
dinging on the beach. I felt like GI Jane trying to land the dinging and
later get it into the water without it being flipped by a wave. 

We spent all of Sunday in Columbia. We dingyed to the beach and took a hike.
St. Barths is very hilly providing for panoramic views of the ocean and
great hiking. Fortunately, we found a Boulanagerie and had
sandwiches/croissants. I was happy for some breakfast food, because although
the food is great on Redwings, the cook does not serve breakfast. At night
we played Hearts. Although I finished in 3rd place, I won three games. In
past Heart games with the redwings crew (i.e. in Krabi) I was crushed and
humiliated.

Unfortunately, On Monday we had to say good bye to Columbia and head back to
St. Martin. After arriving back, we mistakenly set out for Margilo bay, an
ugly looking town via a hot and awful bus. Fortunately we ended up in a
nicer section where we had cocktails on the beach followed by a wonderful
dinner. Fortunately, the buses stop running at night and I could force
Duggan to take a taxi home. 

It was Tuesday and unfortunately time to go home.  I helped Redwings fill up
with fuel and water. It gave me an opportunity to experience boat work. I
must say the Capt. and Cook asked me to do very little. I think the key as
described by the Cook  was not to be helpful, but rather to avoid being
unhelpful.      

My advise to all is, take advantage of friends with a sail boat.

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Copyright 2001 All Rights Reserved by Aaron Henderson and Colleen Duggan