Staying at a marina is a totally different experience than hooking up to a mooring ball out in a bay or putting down your anchor. A marina is a small housing complex for boats. Usually, you can fill up your boat with water, petrol, and electricity and step onto a dock easily for easy access to provisioning for your boat. These are all good things. As in any housing complex, you live among neighbors. In the Caribbean, marinas are housed by a variety of nationalities. People from all over the world travel on their boats. We had the good fortune to meet an Italian captain and his skipper from Scotland in their monohull who was docked next to us. We also met an older couple who have circumnavigated the globe in the exact same boat as ours, a 46′ swan. The lovely French woman who works in the shop at the marina helped me make an appointment with a French gynecologist while in St. Maarten and she also helped my boyfriend with numerous boat-related activities such as purchasing new batteries for “Babe.”
Sometimes, however, neighbors can be annoying. For instance, I wrote the script as performed by the Mexican boys docked next door to us in their 113 foot uber fancy power boat. These boys are probably no older than 25 and look like they are 15. One evening after getting dolled up in their tightest jeans and button down shirts, with the first 4 buttons undone neck down, their conversation went like this. “Hey ladies, you want to come on board my yacht?” A group of women casually walking by replied, “Hello. Who’s boat is that, yours? Where are you from?” “It’s my father’s boat, we are from Mexico. Come have a drink on board. We are going to the disco later.” The women look at each other and say, sure, what the hell. They were on their way to the disco too. On they went up the plank. The evening continued with loud chatter and exceptionally ear piercing banging techno music for the entire marina to hear. At around 11pm, the music stopped, and I assume they were off for their big night out. I’m sure they all had lots to talk about together. The women were from Switzerland – so much in common!
My experience at the French gynecologist at St. Maarten was surprisingly pleasant. He took an appointment with a perfect American stranger who promised to pay him cash. I just needed a regular monthly check up and to check the baby’s corpus collosum, since the last sonogram I had couldn’t see it well. The doctor was professional and sweet
and his English was very good. He did a sonogram and took many photos, one of which showed her perfectly constructed corpus collosum (the bridge in the brain connecting the left and right hemispheres), her head, and her vagina. He wanted to make sure I knew it was a girl. He also told me her length and size and informed me that for an American baby, she was normal, but for a French baby, she was very large. I wanted to argue that French people eat croissants too, but why bother.