Monday, February 19, 2007

December 21, 2006, St. Martin

We came back to St. Martin from Anguilla today. Neither of us was interested in heading back into the lagoon with its fetid water. For a change of scene, we cleared in on the French side and anchored in Marigot Bay. We had our first brush with the legendary rudeness of French civil servants today. As I struggled with my seventh grade French to clear us in (how I wish I'd paid more attention in that class!), the gendarme manning the customs office refused to speak a word of English. One can not possibly live on an island this small, the businesses on the Dutch half of which operate in English, and not have a command of the English words relevant to their job. And then he wouldn’t lend me a pen to complete the forms. I hope the whole transaction made him feel very superior.

After soothing my ruffled feathers with an ice cream bar, we headed off to Cost U Less, the warehouse store in Phillipsburg, to stock up on more junk food and canned goods. At some point during the past few weeks we must have gotten over our hesitations about passage making. We’re loading the boat as though we’re planning to cross the Pacific. So far we have lockers full of such essential supplies as Oreos, Pringles and Gatorade.

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