So, I'm anchored about 1/2 mile off the beach in St. Eustatius, a small Caribbean island about 30mi from St. Maarten. I've been reassigned temporarily to run a bunkering operation down here, and it's mostly a whole new world for me. Dealing with the sea swell while trying to load and transfer fuel, loading fuel from a mile-long floating hose while moored offshore loosely by the bow and stern- it's all a lot less controlled than the Northeast US for sure. So far so good, though. It's bloody hot, and I'm sunburnt all to shit and back, but that's OK too.
I got to spend my first night here in St. Maarten, and the delights of the place did not disappoint. It's a beautiful, friendly place, and, while the food was pricey, it wasn't outlandish. Granted, I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but although we can't drink the night before crew change, I wandered into a bar for pub food and my usual diet of diet soda and soda water to fill up, and found the local ladies very friendly despite the ring on my finger. OK, turns out I wandered into the bar of a house of ill repute while it was just opening up for the night, so I guess that explained the favorable M;F ratio. St. Maarten is a dutch province, and, as such, prostitution is legal- they import beautiful latinas and eastern europeans on working girl working visas, and I apparently, being fattish, white and marginally competent in Portuguese and spanish, had a big target painted on me. So, once I figured out where I was, I flirted with the girls and had some beans and rice before heading back out for a walk around Oyster Bay, which is a fun place.
Next day saw me fly to St. Eustatius, and join my boat, which is where the work started. Also, it's where I discovered that this place has a strict dress code- I have to wear long sleeves, hard hat and a life vest when outside. This is unpleasant and unfortunate, as I brought one pair of pants to travel in, and the rest of my clothing is oil-spotted shorts and t-shirts. So, there's that. Everyone here has had the same problem. Very unpleasant, but we're making do. I'm going to borrow a clean pair of shorts from one of the guys here for the ride home next month.
Anhow, I'm taking pictures, but the Sat-C system here is a dog, so that won't be happening. I'm still trying to understand the unfamiliar paperwork and way of doing things here anyhow. Will write again.
24 minutes ago