February 08, 2020

Feb 7 Phillipsburg, St Marrten

The skies are a little grey and gloomy first thing in the morning when we arrive in port.

By 8:00 the clouds have given way to sunny skies, temperature about 80, and a nice cool breeze.

The plan is to meet at the Lazy Lizard for beverage and lunch about 12:30.  The others go much earlier to sit on the beach in Nick's beach chairs under an umbrella.  A smart business person, he packages a bucket of beer, a couple of chairs, and a beach umbrella. He will even deliver food to you if you want.

Having made this stop many times, my routine is to take the water taxi to the beach then walk to the lazy lizard. A slight change this time. No wait to board the taxi, about a 50 foot boat. We untie. The captain goes to full throttle, there is a loud snap.  All of a sudden he has no steering capability. He is headed full speed towards the side of a muli multi million dollar private yacht.

He misses by a mere 10 feet. Only one passanger becomes irate, yes I said irate, not scared or concerned. She was being deprived of beach time. There is always one. Slowly back towards the docks where a dockhand pulls us in. Within a few minutes all the passengers are transferred to another vessel. The one passenger still throwing a fit and making a fool of herself.

Nick greets me as I approach the Lazy Lizard. A drink while the others finish their beer on the beach.

Lunch is good as always. It is time to start heading back to the ship, purcheses in tow. Tee shirts, rum, a beer sign, a shot glass, and 20 pounds of gouda cheese. Non of the purchases mine, all my daughter Adrienne's.

The rest walk, I take my return water taxi without incident.

As I get to the pier group of 30 motorcycles are returning to the Reflection. A group of passengers have brought their bikes so they can ride in each port. The bikes are carefully inspected before they are allowed on the pier to be stored on the ship.

The Reflection followed basically the same itinerary as we did. Port fees, ship storage, insurance in each country, etc. cost each bike owner between $1,000 and $1,500.

Back onboard, a shower is next.  Despite a nice breeze it was still hot, and I need to cool off.

The Safari lounge is exceptionally loud tonight despite a smaller than usual number of guests.

We have dinner in Chops, the extra fare steak house restaurant. We bring a bottle of our own wine, a gift from the hotel manager given to every Pinnacle passenger. Besides taking advantage of BOGO pricing, we are only charged for four guests instead of five.

The best part of the evening was the excellent food and perfect service.

To reach port Monday morning we are cruising at 18 knots. A very comfortable speed for this ship.

There is finally a gentle roll to the ship. Seas are about 3 feet and will increase slightly through the night.

The next two days are sea days, my last days for this adventure.