King Momo Burns and Beatitude Departs

The three-week long party known as Carnival drew to a close on Tuesday. We spent Monday doing some shopping and provisioning, dropping off laundry, and giving Beatitude a long-overdue bath. We also had Beatitude’s bottom cleaned once again, allowing for adequate water flow through all the raw water intakes (some of which were plugged with growth). On Tuesday, we did a little more shopping and returned to our favorite French bistro in St. Martin, O Plongeoir, for lunch.

Green Heron doing some fishing from the dock lines.

Green Heron doing some fishing from the dock lines.

After lunch, we picked up our laundry and then drove over to Maho Beach, which is one of the best places in the world to watch planes take off and land. At the Princess Juliana Aiport, planes zoom just over the beach and come in incredibly low for landing. We arrived late in the day and only saw one sizable jet land, although several smaller planes did.

Cindy, sitting on Maho Beach in front of the signs saying you are risking severe bodily harm or death by being here.  :) Actually, she is in the safer zone, I am standing in the danger zone taking this photo.

Cindy, sitting on Maho Beach in front of the signs saying you are risking severe bodily harm or death by being here. 🙂 Actually, she is in the safer zone, I am standing in the danger zone taking this photo.

Cindy beneath one of the smaller planes coming in for a landing.

Cindy beneath one of the smaller planes coming in for a landing.

Incoming!

Incoming!

I borrowed this photo from Wikipedia to show how low these big jets actually fly over the beach.

I borrowed this photo from Wikipedia to show how low these big jets actually fly over the beach.

Dancing with Elwood.

Dancing with Elwood.

On Tuesday evening, we hopped back in the rental car for the short drive to Philipsburg for the closing ceremonies of Carnival. The highlight of the evening was the burning of King Momo. Carnival is, of course, a time of revelry, partying, drinking, dancing, celebrating and other mischief-making. King Momo is the king of the festival, so his burning signifies that all the partying and mischief has come to an end. In some countries, there is an actual human who is designated to be King Momo for Carnival. In others, a large paper-mache doll in the form of a king is paraded around as King Momo. Fortunately, since he was to be burned on this night, Sint Maarten chooses the fake Momo. We went early to get a good parking spot and people-watched the time away until King Momo was set aflame just before midnight. We probably won’t stay up ’til midnight to see such a thing again, but for this one time, it was well worth it.

At the Festival Village in Philipsburg, waiting for the closing ceremonies of Carnival to begin.

At the Festival Village in Philipsburg, waiting for the closing ceremonies of Carnival to begin.

King Momo

King Momo

The incendiary King Momo.

The incendiary King Momo.

The next few photos show King Momo progressively consumed by the flames.

The next few photos show King Momo progressively consumed by the flames.

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On Wednesday morning we checked out of the marina and made our way beneath the Simpson Bay drawbridge at 10:30 a.m., on the way to St. Barts. In keeping with our usual traveling conditions, the wind was directly on the nose at 14-15 knots and the seas of were 2-4 feet. It was sloppy and a little uncomfortable, but a short 18 miles later we had dropped anchor just outside the harbor of Gustavia on St. Barts.

Leaving our slip at Simpson Bay Marina, Sint Maarten

Leaving our slip at Simpson Bay Marina, Sint Maarten

The beautiful 159' sailing vessel, Georgia.

The beautiful 159′ sailing vessel, Georgia.

Cindy, putting away the fenders  after departure, healing knee and all.

Cindy, putting away the fenders after departure, healing knee and all.

In line to leave Simpson Bay and head out into the Caribbean

In line to leave Simpson Bay and head out into the Caribbean

Passing Philipsburg.  Cruise ship in port today.

Passing Philipsburg. Cruise ship in port today.

Approaching Gustavia, St. Barts.

Approaching Gustavia, St. Barts.

We took Dalí into the inner harbor, tied up next to the Capitainerie, and checked into the country. Unlike any other place we’ve visited in our cruising adventures, the process was entirely computerized. It was pretty easy except for using the French keyboard in which certain letters were inexplicably moved to hidden spots. After checking in, we walked a few blocks along the waterfront, ate at a nice French restaurant for a late lunch, and then returned to Beatitude for the evening.

Dinghy ride into town to check in.  Cindy displaying her well-healing knee.  She is doing well at moving around the boat and getting on and off the dinghy.  We are now 4 1/2 weeks out from surgery.

Dinghy ride into town to check in. Cindy displaying her well-healing knee. She is doing well at moving around the boat and getting on and off the dinghy. We are now 4 1/2 weeks out from surgery.

Great french food for lunch at Le Repaire on the harbor.

Great french food for lunch at Le Repaire on the harbor.

The beautiful Cindy standing next to the African Tulip tree in town.

The beautiful Cindy standing next to the African Tulip tree in town.

The sun sets from Gustavia, St. Barts.

The sun sets from Gustavia, St. Barts.

One thought on “King Momo Burns and Beatitude Departs

  1. I need a cruise to make my knee look as good as Cindy’s!!!! I am so proud of you girl, it took me a year to trust my knee again, including kissing the carpet and breaking the cap, duh!!! (It usually does not happen, BUT I’m a Speelman!) Have LOTS and lots of fun!!

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