04 June 2012 | St. Martin
The seven of us woke well before sunup to the Indiana Jones theme song cranked over the Bubbles sound system. Sails were up by sunrise with Paddy King at the helm and brother Joe standing by as we watched the morning light illuminate mountainous Saba’s cliffs rising from the sea. With 20 knots of wind just forward of the beam the sail to St. Martin was a quick one and it seemed likely we would make the 11 am bridge opening to enter the lagoon.
Bubbles started her round the world journey in Tortola in the British Virgin Islands almost three years ago and now being only 90 miles away at St. Martin some of the previous Bubbles crew had a chartered a ghost ship to shadow Bubbles on her last leg of the circumnavigation. Upon arrival into Simpson Bay we saw familiar faces aboard the fifty foot monohull ghost ship and after dropping hook (under sail as our fuel lines were clogged) the excitement couldn’t be contained. I jumped into the sea towards the ghost ship and meeting in the water I hugged Jack ‘pouse’ Magruder, from Georgia, crossed the Atlantic on Bubbles; Sergeant Sextent, from Texas, went up the Amazon River aboard Bubbles; Irish, from Ireland, sailed in Thailand aboard Bubbles; and Tex, from Minnesota, helped tow Bubbles through Indonesia. But there was mystery man still aboard the ghost ship wearing a power ranger mask and it wasn’t until I was face to face with the man that he revealed himself as the prince of Norway, Anders, whom I hadn’t seen in years. With the bridge opening soon and Bubbles having no power I rushed to clear the fuel lines and bleed the engine just in time. On the rocks next to the bridge, with bubbles shirt on, stood a waving Drew Royalty, from Seymour Indiana, having sailed on Bubbles from Tahiti to Bora Bora. Sergeant Sexten picked him up to join our parade as we entered the lagoon with trumpets blaring.
Once docked inside the lagoon and checked into four square by Miss Molly it was only minutes later that we were joined by my Guru, Panu, from Finland, sailed on Bubbles from Panama to the Galapagos; and shortly thereafter Marta, from Spain, aboard Bubbles in Indonesia; rounding the Bubbles crew up to 15. Needing to get to the airport to pick up more arriving crew we rented a minivan that we all somehow managed to fit into with horns blaring , doors open and bubbles flag waving. With a delayed flight we had a tailgating party in the airport parking lot where the game of danger can was introduced (danger can is played by chanting ‘danger can’ loudly in unison while each person in the group hits the beer can to their forehead as hard as he/she can until it finally explodes). All wearing our Bubbles uniforms of coral colored (not to be confused with pink) around the world shirts we hid behind the arrival doors and when Trevor, from Indiana, sailed with Bubbles in Thailand, came out, the 15 of us tackled him to the ground from behind after which some humping took place.
That night we took the party first to a beach fire and then to the Soggy Dollar bar where from now on no one wearing a coral colored Bubbles shirt will be allowed to enter. The following day we did a family drive around the island in the minivan singing together ‘We are climbing Sunshine Mountain’ as the four grown men tetrised behind the back seat tried to breath. The Bubblesmobile circumnavigated St. Martin (one half of which is French and the other half Dutch) in time to get back to the airport to add KC Gunn, Indiana gal, sailed with Bubbles to Langkawi, and a slightly delayed Wyatt Turc, a true American unfortunately born in Canada, who had sailed with Bubbles in the primitive Philippines.
Also Joining the Bubbles crew that evening for a gathering aboard Bubbles were Kieran and the crew from Lilly Bolero, John and crew from Iris, a group of South Africans we had met in St. Helena, and the Aussie crew from the $38 million superyacht Flojo. Before kicking off the event Panu blessed th
e boat, Diego blew the Bubbles horn and Marta shot a flare letting everyone know.. The Bubbles Round the World Celebration had begun.