The Cruising Outpost Cruiser’s party, Carnival and the Heineken Regatta beckoned so we headed back to Sint Maarten and anchored in the lagoon. First up was Carnival. It was held in the afternoon in Marigot over on the french side. Robin and I dingied over in the morning and showed up early on the parade route to get a good spot. We ended up with a great spot, right in front near the judges stand. It was worth the wait. The people watching was cool and the parade was long and colorful and a few of the groups had confetti cannons go off right on front of us. After the parade was over we had a nice lunch at a french bistro on the waterfront.
The main man, none other than Mr. Bob Bitchen himself along with Jody arrived a couple of days before the big Cruising Outpost Cruiser’s party. The first afternoon we all headed to the Sint Maarten Yacht Club for happy hour. The club is located adjacent to the lift bridge that connects the lagoon to the ocean and we were just in time for the afternoon bridge opening. They can’t say no if you don’t ask so Robin went over and asked the Bridge operator if she could operate the bridge. To her surprise he said OK! Robin headed into the control booth and assisted in getting the boats through including Limitless, a 316 foot megayacht owned by Les Waxner, founder of the Limited and Victoria’s Secret. “Only Robin could get away with that” Jody observed as Robin came back with a big smile on her face.
The Cruiser’s party at the Buccaneer beach bar on Simpson Bay lagoon was a big hit. Cruiser’s packed in, the beer flowed, the band was rocking and the pizzas were tasty.
The annual Heineken Regatta is a serious sailing event but also a lot of fun hence the regatta motto Serious Fun! Boats and crews flocked in from the US and Europe to participate. It was an impressive fleet led by a group of three Volvo 70s. We spectated the first couple of days with Robin going out on a photo boat on the first day. In the evenings we attended some of the legendary Heineken Regatta parties. Robin got an invite to go out on Monster Project, one of the Volvo 70s on the final day of the Regatta and had a phenomenal sail. Monster Project sliced through the waves upwind and blasted downwind hitting over 25 knots on one leg. The final party was epic. The place was packed and the joint was jumping to a great lineup of bands headlined by UB40.
With the regatta in the rear view mirror we stocked up on provisions and waited for good weather to head down island for more adventures.