I Love Beer, I really do. All kinds of beer,ales, lagers & stouts. If I had to pick a best beer, not a favorite beer, but a best beer it would have to be the Corona I drank at the Green House in Phillipsburg St Maarten. My “ex” ( it sounds like a bad word, but I don’t mean it to be) and I had set out sailing from South Dartmouth Massachusetts to Bermuda and then on to St Maarten. It had already proven itself to be a rough trip on the first leg ( there is a story already I wrote called “Green Water” that hasn’t been posted yet, but will be soon) South Dartmouth to Bermuda. We were having some engine issues and had to sail as directly as we could to get to the next boat yard where we could get the part we needed. Without having to go through the USVI or BVI as we were trying to avoid that in the beginning of the trip. That next boat yard was on the dutch side of St Maarten, a town called Phillipsburg.
We were sailing his Pearson Alberg 35 against the wind and rough seas pretty much most of the way. It was shit weather with the wind on the nose and the seas still had not calmed down from a big storm that hit the area of Bermuda at that time. It was rough but we both gutted it out. We took our watches and sailed well together. If nothing else came of that relationship I felt that we did very well together offshore. He could fix anything that broke and did so all throughout our journey that year. As for me I don’t scare easy and can pretty much survive whatever is tossed my way.
Anyway after too many days to count and slogging through headwinds we made it to the south side of St Maarten. We were salty, stinky and just plain beaten up, but we made it. We anchored in Great Bay on the south side of St Maarten, where the cruise ships come in. It was wide open and a safe place to sail into and drop the hook without having to turn on the engine that we couldn’t use. Just like the old days and some say the way it should always be if you want to call yourself a sailor.
When you get into an anchorage from being offshore it takes a bit of time to get settled and organized before you can go ashore. The inflatable dinghy had to be unpacked and blown up and the out board engine put on. Also everything that was salty and wet (which means everything) had to be pulled out cleaned with fresh water and set out to dry. Once we were comfortable that the anchor would hold we jumped over board and washed the stink off with our bodies with our favorite soap, Joy, dish washing liquid. It was one of the only soaps that would lather in salt water. What all sailors know and what most land lubbers are learning is, that water is a precious commodity.
We almost always washed in salt water then rinsed in fresh water. We felt like new people. Not just the fact that we were clean and could sit next to each other with out passing out from the stench, but we had accomplished so much. We turned that trip around . We could have called it quits and hightailed it back to the states but neither of us is that kind of person. It wasn’t just an offshore sail, most anyone can do that, it was a test of will power and strength. We both had to survive and slug it out with Mother Nature and come out of it still a couple. That in itself is a true testament to both of us.
Anyway after getting everything cleaned up and set out to dry we went ashore and walked straight into a local bar called The Greenhouse . Which is still there by the way. We ordered whatever the coldest beer they had and low and behold it was a Corona with a lime sticking out of it. I embraced that beer with my hot tired hands and almost drank the whole thing in one drink. It was icy cold and refreshing and just what the doctor ordered. For that moment nothing else mattered but that liquid gold I was pouring down my throat. What a beautiful thing. Yes that beer, that Corona, will always be my best beer ever.