Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Boat

Barnacle’s Bar and Grill dinghy parking in Simpson Lagoon

While we were at Simpson Lagoon, St. Maarten the main topic of conversation among cruisers and locals was “the boat.”

Marietje Andrea

The boat in this case was the 413 foot cargo vessel the Marietje Andrea parked in the middle of Simpson Lagoon.

Built in 2009, the Marietje Andrea is a Netherlands flag vessel.  Above she is proudly flying the St. Maarten courtesy flag.

Normally ships of this size do not enter Simpson Lagoon.  Instead large cruise and cargo ships unload the complaining and non-complaining cargo in Philipsburg, St. Maarten.  But, this was special cargo.  It was the swing section for the new bridge crossing Simpson Lagoon.

While we watched from our mooring, large cranes were positioned to lift the swing bridge section form the cargo vessel to its new home on the concrete pivot pylon.

After working some long hours, they got the swing bridge in place.

Palapa Bridge
(existing bridge to enter Simpson Lagoon from Simpson Bay) 

The Marietje Andrea was scheduled to depart Simpson Lagoon with a special bridge opening on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 12th at 7:00 PM.  We took the 4:30 PM bridge opening to depart Simpson Lagoon and anchor in Simpson Bay to stage for a crossing to St. Kitts in the morning.  It would also provide a front row seat to watch the Marietje Andrea navigate the opening.  It’s not everyday you get the opportunity to see a 50’ wide vessel go through a 56’ opening.  Unfortunately, for unknown reasons the departure was canceled at the last moment, so we did not get to watch.

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