Travelling along the string of pearls of the Small Antilles, we reached the old harbor of Marigot, St. Martin. Thanks to large banderoles hanging in the streets and saying "Visitez le bateau solaire!", many enthusiastic people came to inspect the "sun21".
The journey to St. Martin got a new course – towards the north along the string of pearls of the Small Antilles. We saw how all the islands were passing by – our destination finally appeared as the last one, at first very faintly, then more and more clearly, to the west of St. Barthélemy. In the last daylight and accompanied by loud harbor music, we finally anchored near the big drawbridge at the entrance of Simpson Bay Lagoon.
At 9 30 AM, the drawbridge opened – once a day. We entered and crossed the Simpson Bay lagoon. One fancy yacht after the other, most of them with the US flag, four times bigger than our boat, but not solar. Alain Blaze had travelled ahead of us to St. Martin. He prepared the most beautiful docking place in the old harbor, "le Port La Royale de Marigot". A few feet from our stern, there is a promenade full of cafés and fashionable boutiques; shortly after arrival we ordered coffee, straight from the deck.
Our ad hoc partner Alain Blaze did a great job for us, also here in St. Martin. Immediately after our arrival, two ladies showed up, very competent journalists. One of them has followed our journey from the beginning on the Internet. On the boat and in the streets, large banderoles are hanging: "Visitez le bateau solaire!" Many visitors came during the whole day, many enthusiastic people, among them a highly motivated pilot from Australia and business people from the USA. Together with a very involved local partner, Jean Goldsztein, Alain has informed and invited the island officials as well. Jean Goldsztein offered his home and Internet connection to the crew.
In the evening, there was high life on the harbor promenade, very international, many languages, English with all kind of accents, Dutch people who live in the southern part of the island.
The meteorological condition – NE wind and ten feet waves – kept us in the French part of St. Martin for three days. The constant rush of visitors, journalists, radio and TV reporters did not leave us time to explore the island, especially also the Dutch part of it. In 1648, the rival states France and Holland wanted to arbitrate the division of the island. According to legend, two runners circled the island. Between
the starting point and the place where they met the borderline was drawn. There is a similar story in the Swiss Alps where the people of the Swiss Federal States of Glarus and Uri had to fix their common border at the Klausenpass. They also sent runners, but the cunning Urner people duped the Glarner neighbors through more cleverness (remember the well fed and the hungry rooster), and thus a large part on the Glarus
side belongs to Uri, the so-called "Urnerboden". Did the French also play smart tricks or was the runner faster? In any case, the French part is clearly bigger as the Dutch one.
We were invited to the radio, two local stations at the same floor. Nathalie from Toulouse makes interviews for radio "Kalypso" – well structured, efficient and serious. Across the hallway an open door: "Youth Radio" with Spyce, the broadly smiling, laughing, joking, dark-skinned, sometimes rhythmically moving, big Creole Mom. When we spoke to her, it was not always obvious whether we are on air or not... "Hey, folks," she laughs into the microphone: "Solar is cool". It was rather difficult for us to stick to the subject.