Christmas 2021 Simpson Bay SXM

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Arriving Simpson Bay last night, Dec 24th at 11pm with all the island lights and all the yachts in the bay lit up was a real challenge. It was far more difficult than we expected. HELLO….you are entering a new harbor at NIGHT on Christmas Eve….what did you expect? I know, I know, I know….don’t enter a harbor at night. But that is how it worked out and we knew we would be arriving around 11 pm. Thanks to digital radar and C-Map NT charts on our B&G Zeus 3 Chartplotter set-up in split-screen mode, we did it.  Here you can see the screen at 11:30 pm and we are going 0.5 knots as we are ready to drop anchor!

The Chartplotter in split-screen. Charts on left, radar on right. The red dots are boats or anything SOLID around us. Radar is in heads-up orientation, so 12 o’clock is dead ahead.

Christmas Day Shared with John Knight

Our long-time friend and sailing buddy, John Knight had just crossed the Atlantic sailing from Spain on IP 420 Adventuress. His crew had left and he was waiting for his lovely wife Nancy to fly in. He was smartly anchored over on the French side off Marigot, and we sailed into the Dutch side into Simpson Bay. We did this because the Dutch side did not require covid testing and would accept our triple vaccination status. Plus, our new outboard was on the Dutch side. So we decided to check in there.  We invited John to come on over and share Christmas Dinner aboard Island Spirit. He took us up on this and the next thing we knew, he was dropping anchor off our port beam. What a JOY! While Radeen was baking, John took me ashore to clear in with Customs and Immigration. All of our documents had been uploaded from USVI, but I still had to fill out every single one of them again by hand. 

IP 420 ADVENTURESS arrives off our stern, Chrismas Day
Perfect, John dropped anchor off our port beam. Merry Christmas, John.
I love to take photos and this view out our porthole is always a great photo. To take this I back up as far away from the port as possible and then zoom in and out the port, keeping part of the port frame. Perfect.

Christmas Dinner, Radeen outdid herself

This is a very brave undertaking, cooking for John. Why? Because he grew up spending summers in France and was taught for many years, as a child, how to cook! Consequently, John is a very, very impressive gourmet French chef. So, here we are, we have just invited John for Chrismas Dinner aboard. What will we make? YIKES!

First off, Radeen LOVES to BAKE so she started with baking homemade banana bread for a gift to John for his breakfast treats. Next, she baked a homemade crustless pumpkin pie for our Christmas dessert. Now, the meal. She planned ahead and marinated a flank steak. (Anyone that has had dinner at Saltbox 13, our home, knows this is our go-to meal. Thanks to Sharon Gabor, IP 420 Lucille, for the recipe!) Next, she made roasted carrots with thyme that were planned to be served chilled. The final dish was white beans and pasta with beurre blanc. This made for a very colorful plate and it all turned out delicious. Here are some photos of the meal.

Our Marinated Flank Steak, 4 minutes per side on a very hot grill pan, as suggested to us years ago by John. Next, rest it, and then slice. Always so good.
The plate with chilled thyme carrots, white beans and pasta and medium-rare marinated flank steak.
Dessert, a homemade crustless pumpkin pie. Radeen loves to bake.. NOTE: Radeen uploads her favorite recipes to a website I made for her…. www.BoatRecipes.com

After Dinner, Cigars and Wine or Bourbon

One of the joys of a fine meal with John is that he always has great cigars, and today was no exception. After the meal, we sat in the cockpit, enjoying the 78f degree Caribbean breeze and we smoked these fine cigars. Thank you, John!

A Gift from John

John gifted us one of their homemade hammocks used to store fruit or snacks while on passage. This hammock crossed the ocean to Europe and then sailed back. John added the dates of each passage to the band on the hammock and also added CHRISTMAS 2021. THANK you, John, and thank you, Nancy for making this. It will be a treasure on Island Spirit.

The handmade fruit hammock that crossed the Atlantic, twice!

A Great Day it was…

Anchored in Simpson Bay with our buddy and sharing great meals together and drinks and stories was a real joy. What a great life the cruising life is. So different from land life, so spontaneous, so unplanned. No schedule, no plan, just enjoy every day to the fullest. Merry Christmas!

This was our Merry Christmas 2021 spot. Simpson Bay, SXM.
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