Irie had a little problem with one of her engines. Actually, Irie has a few problems with her engines, but this one became a bit more worrisome when the blue turned black saildrive oil also rose in level. This indicated one thing: salt water was coming in. The only way to deal with saildrive issues is… to haul the boat. Didn’t we just do that a few months ago in Grenada? Yep. We just had to do it again. Luckily, there is an affordable boat yard in St. Maarten and Irie snugly fits in its travel lift.

On the first day of spring (after a winter that never came), Irie and her crew left the lagoon, heading for Philipsburg. Mark and I felt a bit excited about finally leaving the nasty “pond”, albeit for the wrong reasons. The cleaner water in Great Bay invited us for a swim and the long boardwalk and wide beach called Darwin for a long walk. Even the chaos of the cruise ship passengers and ferries couldn’t spoil our fun of being in a relatively beautiful place again.


When Monday morning came around, we moved Irie towards the fairway at Bobby’s Marina. A heavy cross wind caused us problems to dock the boat and, with only one line attached to shore and a port engine that suddenly refused to work, Irie turned sideways, creating a bit of a panic. Luckily no substantial damage occurred and we managed to dock safely in the end. Once hauled out of the water, we noticed that the propeller of the port engine had come loose, the reason it didn’t work properly when engaged… An easy fix, especially on the hard.

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  • Liesbet Collaert

    Liesbet Collaert, a former school teacher from Belgium, has been an avid traveler since she was a teenager. Growing older only …

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