Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Boat Projects - Sabrina's Sail Loft

I didn’t want you to think I was completely slacking off while Mr Marine Starboard was hard at work onboard s/v Honey Ryder.  I have managed to accomplish a few projects myself. 

The first was actually sewn some time ago but we finally got around to installing it.  I made a Sunbrella cover for our cockpit “pocket”.  This will help keep things better organized and protected as well as looking much neater. 

I also made a line bag for the starboard corner of our cockpit.  It holds the furling line, temporary boom preventer line with room for sunscreen or an occasional beer for the captain.

Party on sv Honey Ryder

We had some other yachties over for a party so we arranged for fireworks.  Just kidding

The new Simpson Bay Lagoon Causeway Bridge is open.  This bridge cuts across the lagoon and makes access to the international airport – located on the Dutch side- easier.  It also acts as the approximate dividing line across the lagoon between countries.  One can only imagine the politics that took place when two countries are involved in building ONE bridge.  However, a cruiser told me the other day it was built in record time so maybe there is hope for world peace.

Anyway, this past Saturday they had a big fireworks display to celebrate the opening.  We had the PERFECT vantage point from our anchorage off the Witches Tit on the French side of the lagoon so we invited some other yachties over to share the view.  The crews of s/v Janey, s/v Georgia and s/v Sonic Boom joined us on s/v Honey Ryder.  The fireworks were impressive and we had a great time with everyone aboard.  

Market Day

Molly by the spice booth
Molly off s/v Terrapin and I hit the bi-weekly market in Marigot this past Saturday.  It was fun exploring all the fruits and veggies we don’t have in the states.  Molly’s French is WAY better than mine.  Unlike me, she can say more than please, thank you and what is - damn it...why didn't I hit the Rosetta Stone again this past summer!  So she asked the market ladies what various items were and how to mange (eat in French) them.    
These ladies were very nice
Fish markets have been completely lacking on our trip thus far.  Not anymore as they had two big booths with freshly caught, local fish.  I did not buy any that day but plan to head back another day to get some.  * I have been completely blown away at the lack of fresh fish to buy.  I found nothing in the BVI and USVI.  I realize the tourist business pays better than fishing but I thought there would be at least something.  Perhaps I missed it.  Another astonishing discovery is the strong presents of Salt Fish.  This is salted cod from Nova Scotia!  Yes, salt cured fish shipped from Nova Scotia Canada to the Caribbean….where there are some terrific, fresh fish!!!  This is of course left over from colonial slavery days but it just seems crazy to me. 
Check out the 100 yr old Singer sewing machine in this booth
After buying some veggies and fruits, we decided to buzz through the tourist trap booths.  Most were t-shirts, hats and such with St Martin printed all over whatever item but there were a few local artist booths.  There was also a fabulous spice booth.  I may need to go back to that one.  There were coconut drink vendors as well as vendors selling homemade flavored rums and various hot sauces.  One booth on the corner played island music with CDs for sale. 
After cruising through all that, we headed for Sarafina’s – a French bakery with SO many good things it will make your head pop off.  Seriously……spectacular stuff.   I bought two baguettes, an olive loaf, and an apple and peach tart each….which Tom and I enjoyed immediately upon my return to the boat!
This was only a small part of the choices
 It was a good market day.

Lock It Or Lose It

Out of the water and secure

Dinghy theft is sadly a given fact for cruisers here in St Martin.  Historically most dinghies are stolen for the outboard motors.  The dinghy itself is often found with the tubes slashed and partially sinking.  However lately the stolen dinghies are being used for transportation to board and break into boats at anchor/mooring.  Lock it or lose it is the common phrase among cruisers.  We knew this prior to sailing to St Martin.  We have put several security measures into our everyday routine.  Tom purchased some chain so we could lock up our dinghy and the outboard.  In the first week since arriving here, Tom has continued to tweak our new security measure.  This includes purchasing additional chain…multiple times.  While I appreciate his efforts, I am getting a tad concerned that my husband may have a chain habit.  We may need an intervention soon if he continues as our dinghy will sink if any more chain is added!  “Hi.  My name is Tom and I have a chain addiction.”   “Hi Tom.”
Chained to the toe rail

All joking aside, here are some of the security measures that are now standard for us.  Maybe they will help others.  If you have some good ones you use, let us know. 
2 horse outboard secured

Jerry jugs secured to the toe rail
Lift it or lose it.  We raise the dinghy each night.  We are not able to raise it using the arch and leave the outboard on.  We don’t want to pull the outboard off each night and re-launch it each morning.  So we lift the dinghy via our spinnaker halyard on the starboard side of s/v Honey Ryder.  Tom rigged up a three point bridle of chain with a shackle to make it quick and easy.  The leftover chain is then chained to the toe rail of the boat.  Another short chain secures the outboard and gas tank to the dinghy.  Finally a third length of chain is attached to the eye on the front of the dinghy so we chain it to something each and every time we go ashore thus leaving the bridled chain for only lifting it each night.  Our little 2 horse Evinrude outboard on the back rail of s/v Honey Ryder is chained in place.  Another length of chain is run through the two jerry jugs on deck.  I told you…..Tom has a chain habit! 
Rope solar lights

Solar lights charging
Additionally I have 7+ solar lights and a string of solar rope lights that illuminate the deck and cockpit of our boat at night.  We lock our overhead and companionway hatches and we have a steel pole that we jam into place to keep the companionway hatch secure each night. 

Some might ask “Why go there if there is dinghy theft?”  Well….couple of thoughts……1.)  Bike theft was the hot thing in Brunswick GA – it just happens to be dinghies here.  2.)  Theft happens everywhere.  NO place it immune.  3.)  A dinghy is basically a cruiser’s car.  You lock your car most of the time, right?  This is no different.  4.)  We are careful and aware but we also don’t want to let fear scare us into missing special places, cultures and adventures.          

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Different Country - Different Feel

Saint Martin/Sint Maarten has a very different vibe than the Virgin Islands.  It’s more….European.  Most everyone is speaking French although bi-lingual/multi-lingual.  People are more fashionably dressed here than the Virgin Islands – pasty colored, fanny pack-wearing cruise ship tourist and sunburned, wrinkly clothed, smelly cruisers aside, of course.  I am not knocking the fashions of the Virgin Islands, it's just more cosmo here.

Very civilized internet session
And smoking.  They have smoking here.  Stylish, pretty people type smoking - not old grandma at the slot machine hacking type smoking.  I was shocked at what little smoking we saw in the British Virgin Islands and even on the USVI side.  

Scooters are back too.  I even saw a few four wheelers.  I know this is a popular mode of transport on St Barths Island as well.  Most of the cars we have seen here are small.  Very small.  Even the trucks are small.   Much like you would find in Europe.  
Olives - love the packaging - perfect for boats

First grab from the store - in a hurry.  I can't wait to really dive into all the various cheeses

And the FOOD.  OMG - the Food!  This will take it's own blog posting but I am in cheese paradise!!!!!

Checking In and Out

20-01-14 (Jan 20, 2014)  FYI - This is how they do the date down here in the Caribbean
FYI - This has turned out to be written in real bit wordy.  Sorry but you will just need to deal

We are finding that checking in and out of the various countries is different each time.  I don’t mean different for each country but different for each person that is checking in or out.  We knew this somewhat before we started sailing south but it’s interesting….and confusing. 

For instance –
When we checked back into the United States Virgin Islands (yes, you do have to do that even though you are a US citizen  - think about it, you have to when you fly to a foreign country and then back) the guy wanted to know where we were going next.  He knew we were on a sailboat and more than likely sailing somewhere else at some point in the future.  We told him Sint Maarten and he said “you will need to check out of here first.”  If we were only going to back to the British Virgin Islands, then no need to check out. 

As it was, we did go back to the BVI’s.  There you can check in and out at the same time if your visit is going to be short (it is somewhat fuzzy on what they mean by “short”).  When Tom went to check us in and out we thought we would be leaving later that day or even the next.  He wasn’t sure what to put on the paperwork.  He was honest with the lady behind the desk.  She was ever so helpful and said “why don’t we just give you three additional days in case.”  Kewl!  We ended up using those extra days waiting on just the right weather window.  Fellow cruising friends went to check out the day before at that same office.  They were told they needed to leave that day.  “Can I have 24 hours just in case?”  “NO.”  Can I have 12 hours?”  “NO.  You can have until 5am tomorrow morning.”  Hum?  The next cruiser in line got the same so I guess there was a little consistency there.  The costs associated with checking in and out also seem to vary slightly as well but that might be related to boat size.  It seems the only cash drawer is the pockets of whoever is checking you in.  They take your cash and put it in their right hand pocket and then give you change out of the left hand pocket.  Tom and a fellow cruiser were laughing at how comical that aspect is.

Checking into the island of St Marten is really confusing.  The island is home to two countries.  A French side, which is Saint Martin or St Martin and a Dutch side which, is Sint Maarten.  They have lived in relative peace side by side since 1648.  Travel inland from side to side is no issue.  Checking in by boat is a little more challenging.  It was suggested by other cruisers to check into the French side.  It costs less and cruisers are ALL ABOUT costs less!!!  Supposedly once you check in on the French side you can go wherever you want around the island – French side or Dutch side.  But wait there is more…   

Other cruisers have found that if the female of the crew checks your vessel in, sometimes it can go a little better.   So today I checked us into St Martin – French side.  The office was completely closed for lunch when I first arrived at 13:30.  That is correct, closed for lunch.  I forgot we are in a country/countries where entire offices and shops close down for at least one hour and often two hours for lunch.  Some cruisers find this frustrating and it can be.    However, after years of eating Subway sandwiches on my lap in the car as I drove to my next sales call, I find it very civilized.  When I arrived back at 14:00 (2pm), a group of four German yachties were waiting to check out.  They were in the frustrated camp in terms of the office being closed for lunch.  I don’t speak German but it was obvious from their tones and expressions that they were irritated that the office was not open at exactly 2pm.  Hey, maybe the guy went to lunch late so he is coming back late.  Plus – things do seem to run on island time ie…a different pace.  I don’t think the guy was amused when he arrived around 2:08 to find them banging on his office door.  He helped the Germans first.  I had to wait outside and then he came for me.  He was very nice.  I presented all our ships documents and passports.  He entered it all into a computer as I sat quietly next to him (YES I DID – I know some of you think I can’t sit quietly).  Then he said “$8.”  I only had a twenty.  He checked his pockets for change (see above about cash in pockets) but I didn’t have any.  He went around the corner into a fellow office and got change for me.  He made the German’s go and get change – I think it was their attitude and the fact that they were banging on his glass door.   After giving me the change he said I was good to go.  I was surprised and taken back – wow…easypeasy I thought.  “That’s it?  How long can we stay?”  *In the BVI’s we only had 30 days unless we filed for extra days.  “Yes, you are checked in.  But if you add anyone to your boat, you have to come back here and pay me for them.  AND if you come around to this side of the island and anchor in Marigot Bay… out there, you have to come pay me some more money.   But basically you have 90 days and then you have to go away from the island.”  Then he quickly escorted me out the door before I could ask more questions.
FYI – we entered into Simpson Bay Lagoon through the Dutch side of the island through a lift bridge.  The lagoon is huge but more later on that.  Then we proceeded through the new Simpson Bay Lagoon Causeway Bridge, which is basically the dividing line between the Dutch side of the lagoon and the French.  We anchored on the French side of the lagoon.  So I really don’t understand why we have to go back to Mr Customs and pay him again if we end up anchoring in Marigot Bay for some reason.  We are already anchored on the French side.  We won’t pay for every bay we anchor in on the French side – weird.  Additionally, apparently there is also a Simpson Bay Lagoon Authority and you are supposed to pay them and the office is located on the Dutch side.  They want payment  whether you are in the actual Lagoon or anchored outside on the Dutch side in what is called Simpson Bay.  Maybe it’s a bay thing on both sides.  We were also told that the Dutch record your ships name when you enter through their bridge and if you present on that side at any time, they charge you for the bridge opening when you came in.  What?  Hum?        
Later, back on the boat we realized that he didn’t stamp our passports.  D-Oh!  So basically the boat is checking in and we aren’t.   In my defense, it was my first time checking us in, I forgot to ask.  And he never said a word about immigration.  Usually, they tell you to go to the next office or in most case over to the next desk and that one is immigration.  My bad.  We are going back tomorrow morning to clear ourselves in so we will be official.  I will let you know if we get any further clarification.

So you see, clear as mud.  But are we upset or frustrated?  NO.  This is all part of the adventures of traveling abroad.   Each country has its own rules and regs and ways of applying them or not.  We are guests and just need to deal as best we can with those quirks.    Will there be times in the future when we are trying to check out so we can catch a weather window and have challenges in checking out?  Oh yeah!  But I will try to remember to come back and read this as a reminder to myself to just go with it.  If I don’t and start bitching, you can remind me about this blog posting. 
And for the record, the USA is no picnic in terms of clearing in and out.  We have heard from plenty of Auzzies, Kiwi’s and even a few Canadians on that.   As a person with hip replacements, I can tell you that TSA screening at US airports varies widely!  So each country has it quirks and ticks as well as different pace. 

UPDATE 21-01-14 (Jan 21 2014) – Today we took the dinghy back to Marigot and walked back to the customs office at the ferry dock where I checked our boat in yesterday so we could get our passports stamped and be official.   Along the way we ran into fellow Salty Dawg  Archie off s/v Janey.  We asked him about his experience checking in.  He got his passport stamped when he checked in at immigration and had to pay $40.  He also cleared the boat in and had to pay $8 – same as I paid yesterday.  Anyway, I knocked on the customs door and Mr Customs answered and escorted me in.  I reminded him that he checked me in yesterday but that I didn’t get our passports stamped.  I asked him where do I get the passports stamped, immigration?  “Do you really want your passports stamped?  You don’t really have to have them stamped.”  "Um….well….I….?'  “Come with me” he said.  ”I will take you to get them stamped.”  We exited the office and then went a short distance to the immigration window at the ferry dock.  Two policemen were inside.  Mr Customs rattled off a bunch of French – of which I caught 4 words I know (darn it! why didn’t  I hit the Rosetta Stone sooner!) – then he turned to me and said something like "they cannot  stamp it yesterday but they can two days.  You understand?”   “Um….No, I don’t.”  Mr Customs said “They cannot stamp it with yesterday’s date but they can stamp it with today’s.  Is that ok?”  To which I said “Does that matter?”  He shrugged and asked them.  They said no.  I gave them our passports.  One guy took them away and came back with them stamped.  No official signature, just a stamp.  No $40 due.  Hum?  I politely said “We sailed here on our own boat.  We plan to sail to Anguilla.  We of course will check in there (it’s British) and then back out.  Then we will probably sail back to this island to Grande Case (French side).  Do I have to check back in?”  The nice policeman said “No.  You can come and go as you like for the length of your stay.  You do not have to check back in.”  Okay.  So there we have it. 

We will just see what info we can find out about the Dutch side tomorrow. 

One additional note.  Tom had the occasion to visit with a crew member from the mega yacht M/V Rising Sun (and I do mean MEGA yacht – google it if you are bored).  They chatted about various topics but this guy did suggest we take care to fly the host country’s courtesy flag for whatever side we are on.  In other words – French flag for the French side and ……oh crap is it the Dutch flag or Dutch Netherlands Antilles Federation flag or what the heck is this St Maarten flag I saw for the first time today?  Hum?  More research to do.    

Sleeping Napping While on Passage

Ready for naps for off watch person

If you are already a cruiser or the complete opposite -a non-sailor, this might not interest you. 
For you interested in cruising or soon to be cruisers….As you know, we just sailed from the BVI’s to St Martin.  It took us 23 hours, during which we had some naps when not on watch. Since it was just Tom and me, I set up the starboard salon setee so we could hot bunk our naps there if we wanted to.  Hot bunking is where one sleeps in the bunk and then gets up and take their watch and the off watch person comes down and gets into the bunk the other person was just in….thus “hot” bunking.  The salon is the best place as it is in the center of the boat and thus, less bouncing about.

I wrapped the seat cushions in a waterproof mattress pad.  We are trying our best to keep the salon cushions clean and free of salt residue.  Once salt get on and into the cushions, it will start breaking down the fabric and allowing mildew in.  Next I wrapped the all the cushion backs in a sheet.  A sheet was put on the mattress pad as well.  Then I pulled out a sleeping bag liner sheet.  Even though we are in the Caribbean, it can be chilly at sea.  A light sheet is all it takes.  I found these sleeping bag sheet inserts at Bed, Bath and Beyond.  They are perfect for hot bunking.  Finally I fixed up the lee cloth so we would stay in the bunk even if the boat was heeling side to side.

I actually used the starboard bunk while underway on this passage.  Tom opted to napped in the cockpit while I was on watch.         



We have arrived in Saint Martin/Sint Maarten.  We departed North Sound – BVI’s Sunday January 20th at 11:30 am.  The wind was…..any guesses?  Come on, think….more often than not, what direction is the wind coming from when we go sailing?  That’s right!  On the nose!  Actually we knew it would be.   Sint Maarten is east, south-east of the BVI’s and the trade winds generally blow out of the east, with occasional south-east.  We simply waited for a day when the winds were way down.  What?  We wanted the winds low?  Yes.  This allows the sea to be relatively calm as we sail/motor into them vs hammering into them...slam, slam, slam - fun.  Even on a close haul, calmer seas are better.

Sailing towards sunrise

We were not sure how much headway we would be able to make and how fast we could go but based on our route planning it would be anywhere from 16 to 24 hours for this passage.  We were itching to get going so we headed out at 11:30am.  Many departed earlier in the morning.  After 8 or so hours, we realized at the speed we were going, we would arrive around 3:30am in the morning.   It’s NEVER a good idea to arrive to an unfamiliar destination in the dark so we slowed down, way down.  The stars came out, the moon came up and we had a lovely night. We had to stay sharp as it was busy on the passage with lot of other yachts out there on passage as well – sort of like a highway at one point.  Most showed up on AIS but there were some stealth boats like us.  *We receive but don’t send an AIS signal. 

I started seeing the lights of Anguilla and Sint Maarten on my 4am watch.  The clouds on the horizon confirmed land.  We arrived in Simpson Bay just outside the bridge on the Dutch side around 9:05am.  Perfect as the bridge only opens three times a day with 9:30 am being the first opening for incoming traffic.  Tom expertly held s/v Honey Ryder in place amongst the other yachts waiting to get in.  It reminded me of people waiting to board an airplane, even though there are assigned boarding groups, people still inch up and maneuver around. 
Dutch side bridge opening

Speed up the bridge tender told everyone

Then the announcement came that the bridge was opening and the light turned green.  Everyone proceeded forward, falling into line.  FYI – it’s a narrow channel through.  At one point the bridge tender instructed everyone to speed it up as there were many yachts to get through.  Okay.  There was a port patrol guy in a dinghy making sure it all went ok but only because there was a mini mega yacht coming in and they are required to use port patrol.  The mini mega yacht ended up right behind us.  And I mean right behind us…..once we got through the bridge, the yachts ahead had slowed down causing a bunch up.  I looked behind us to see the mini mega yacht 10 ft off our starboard stern rail!  It looked like 5 ft!!  It was probably 15ft but no more, seriously.  Everyone headed off in various directions.  We followed two other yachts through the lagoon channel and on over to the new Simpson Bay Lagoon Causeway Bridge, a swing bridge.  It is supposed to be timed with the other bridge.  But it didn’t open and didn’t open.  Finally after 15 mins, it did open and we proceeded through and sailed officially into the French side of the lagoon.  
Waiting for new causeway bridge to open

Time to go through

Going from Dutch side to French side of Simpson Bay Lagoon

We anchored off Mont Fortune aka The Witches Tit (seriously….that is what everyone calls it), at 10:30 am.  Our passage was 23 hours anchorage to anchorage.   This location will allow us to dinghy to Marigot on the French side – bread, pastries, cheese, French coffee and wines and the Dutch side with its marine chandleries.  
Sunrise in Simpson Bay Lagoon - French side 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Waiting for a Weather Window

Not a bad place to be stuck waiting
Saturday 1-18-14

Cheers Mates.  Yes, as you can tell by the accent in my greeting, we are still in the BVI's.  North Sound to be specific.  We were rushing about Thursday morning trying to get ready to depart that afternoon for Sint Maarten.  There are things that we have to do prior to a passage that just can't be done until right before we leave....and we put off doing others and thus the rushing.  Then we started getting conflicting weather information so we decided to wait and not depart on Thursday.  It looks like Sunday is our next weather window.  We plan to depart mid day for Sint Maarten.  In the mean time, North Sound is a pretty good place to be waiting.  We are getting some boat chores accomplished as well as some snorkeling (check out the kewl cannon's below) and socializing with fellow Salty Dawgs, locals and other yachties.
Cannons just on the reef just off Saba Rock - North Sound Virgin Gorda BVI's

So kewl

*Some of our pre-departure To Do's are:  disassemble and store the kayak, tape forward three hatches with gray tape (day of departure so we keep the breeze as long as we can), attach the staysail, stow everything securely below (this takes awhile), removed and stow dinghy motor on the rail, remove and stow dinghy gas tank in the bow, raise dinghy on arch and strap it down securely (only to have to re-secure it again once we are underway for awhile - argh), secure jerry cans, secure jacklines, get out our passage gear (harnesses, headlamps) etc......For short islands passages, we are going to try the dinghy on the arch (it's normal spot) vs deflating it and stowing it on deck.  This will allow us to get underway faster and launch the dinghy quicker when we make landfall.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Over The Road Island Transportation

The above taxi is the most common mode of transportation in the USVI.  Some are small like the one above, while others have 5 or even 6 rows of seats.  Most are decorated up very colorfully.  Many are airbrushed with pictures and portraits on the side and back - think pimp my Island Taxi type stuff.  On St Thomas, there are Safari buses.  These are just like the above but bigger with 6 rows that the seat 6 people in each row....side by side and at times practically sitting in your neighbors lap depending on the size of the people in your row.  The Safari buses look just like the tourist taxis but Safari Buses are what the locals use and cruisers.  Tourist taxis cost anywhere from $10 to $20+ per ride.  Safari Buses $1 or $2 if you ride the entire line  - thus cruisers use them!

Custom door - most jeeps were new, 4 door models

The most common mode of transportation on St John Island (aside from tourist taxis) is the Jeep.  They are everywhere.  This makes a lot of since with the steep hills.  There must be a dozen places to rent jeeps so the tourists not riding the tourist taxis were all roaming around St John Island in rented Jeeps - all the while trying to remember to drive on the left side of the road.  This made all our walking on the roads very exciting and at times a tad scary.  And yes, the US Virgin Islands are left hand driving.  I read an attempt to change that several years ago was strongly put down by the taxi drivers association.  Left hand driving intimidates some people enough that they won't rent cars and thus will need taxis. 
We took this for our friends Wayne and Jan

I was surprised by the lack of scooters and motorbikes.  We have visited other islands (Bermuda) where the island is overrun with scooters but not the Virgin Islands. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Cruz Bay - St John USVI

Port channel into Cruz Bay
Cruz Bay is the only place to clear Customs and immigration into the USVI on St John.  The harbor is somewhat on the small side in terms of bays but very developed.  There is a reef on each side of the entrance and then two short channels.  The starboard channel is for big, fast ferry boats -island to island.  The port channel is for big, fast touristy boats (the kind that take you and 50 of your closest friends out for a 3 hour tour).  All moorings are private.  The cruising guide said the only anchorage was in the Y between the channels.  It was PACKED with local boats.  Some on moorings, some anchored.  No room to squeeze in.  None.  
Middle Y section and then starboard channel - sorry for the blur
There is a very small anchorage (4 boats max with very little scope out) just to the left of the port channel that has a 3 hour time limit.  However, it gets shallow fast.  All the boats coming and going in the channel (very close to this 3 hour anchorage as well as the starboard channel -which isn't really that far away) race in and out with very little regard to their wake, much like Lake Perry back in KS.  Can you say deja vous?  
Very close to shore and rocks
Because of all these factors, most yachts take a mooring ball around the corner at Caneel Bay and then dinghy around to Cruz Bay to check in.  Warning Caneel Bay is very, very rolly due to swell and numerous passing ferries.  If you are prone to seasickness at all – Caneel Bay could be tough.
sv Honey Ryder rolling in Caneel Bay

 In addition to checking in, Cruz Bay is a good place to provision at either the Dolphin or Starfish grocery stores and hit the ACE Hardware.
Dolphin grocery store - good selection

Very narrow aisles - notice it gets even narrower towards the far end

The National Park HQ is here and there is a huge assortment of restaurants and bars to choose from.  There is also a US Post Office for mailing and receiving packages.  Something we wish we would have known earlier as we had a package sent to Redhook on St Thomas.  

There are three dinghy docks- basically parking lots for all the dinghies.  One by the National Park HQ and the other two are on each side of the island to island ferry dock.