Diving in Statia and off to Sint Maarten

When we finally managed to leave Antigua after the trouble getting checked out of the country (see pervious post) we set off towards Statia (St Eustatius) where we were gonna do a couple of dives. Due to Covid-19 we were not allowed to go ashore in Statia but we could do a quarantine dive. With this we were not allowed to leave the boat and we took our own dinghies to the diving sites instead of going with the diving boat. We had hand sanitizer with us to clean the equipment we used and so on. It actually worked really well and nice to support the diving centre at Statia and a good way for us to see a bit of Statia.

In total we did three dives, and saw huge lobsters, a sleeping turtle, big stingrays, barracuda, moray eel and a lot more! No photos from below though as we don’t have a waterhouse on our GoPro (it can only go down to 10 meters). We only have pictures of when we entered Statia, the water was so incredibly clear. You could sit at the bow, watching stingrays and fish swim 10 meters below the boat. Incredible!

After the dives we stayed in Statia over the night before we started to make our way towards Sint Maarten. We had originally planned to sail to Guadelope after Antigua, but France closed their borders so instead we sailed to Sint Maarten where we planned to do the final preparations for the Atlantic crossing back to Europe.

Sunset in Statia.
Arrived to Sint Maarten and we quickly started with some of the preparations. We prioritized checking stuff on the boat that might take some time to order and fix, like the rig for example.
The chandlery in Sint Maarten is very well sorted, good place to fix stuff before a crossing.
Sint Maarten was quite different from the places in the Caribbean we visited before. Way more tourists, big hotels and so on. Not only in a negative way though, after being quite isolated for a while it was kind of nice with some people.
Our small dinghy acting as a fender…
One day we took a visit to the “airplane beach” in Sint Maarten. The planes fly in really low over the beach, and when departing the jet blasts throw sand all over. The beach was also a very nice beach and it was really fun to watch the planes!

Airplane selfie!

Another day we went to a rum tasting, Toppers Rhum. They had all kinds of flavoured rum in beautiful bottles, so naturally we left with a few…

Cheers!
Lot of different flavoured rums.

We stayed at anchor the first days in Sint Maarten, outside the bridge. But after a couple of days we moved into Simpson Bay and into the marina. The marina was not super expensive (Northern Europe prices) and with the marina we got access to a really nice pool area!

With the marina we could use the pool here, some tennis courts and a gym. Really nice!

 

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