We were on passage from the States and planned to end our voyage in Marigot Bay, French St. Martin. The voyage had been a mixed-bag of weather and broken parts, the biggest of which was the loss of a vital piece of our self-steering gear. That loss meant we had to steer by hand. Already exhausted, we took watch on and watch off until days later the mountains of St. Martin hove into view. Being a good navigator, I constantly checked the chart and pilot books and took bearings on the various headlands. As I laid off out position on the chart, I remember thinking a few things didn’t add up, but by really studying the chart I was able to make everything fit. Okay, so the reef to port wasn’t where it should be, if it should be there at all, and the land to starboard was rather flatter than I expected, but what the hell, the charts were old and what did they know, I was the navigator here.
My wife was now annoying me by repeatedly holding the chart in front of her eyes, turning it from side to side, and making the “Mmm” sound. At one point she even turned it upside-down. How rude is that?
As we closed the land, I noticed the high mountains beyond the lowland to starboard seemed to be detached from the rest of the island and moving at an odd pace.
My wife had by now doubled her efforts and was at the “Mmm … mmm, er … ” stage.
“Enough, woman,” I roared as we sailed into Marigot Bay.
Grabbing the binoculars from her hands, I focused them on a large sign on the jetty ashore.
“Well, Magellan?” she sneered.
“Welcome to Anguilla”, I said.
In St. Maarten she bought me a GPS.