Brian and I are over-the-moon happy to announce that we’ve taken on some new, canine crew!

Mind you, we did not expect to be leaving with dogs when we arrived in Sint Maarten. Dogs were something we’d tentatively planned into the next chapter of our lives – but that changed when these two found us.

Yes, we are out of our minds. Yes, we know exactly how much work it is training one dog – let alone TWO. But like so many crazy, life-altering decisions, we fell in love and there was no other way forward.

This is the story of how we went from having no dogs to having two.

Initially, our favorite thing about being hauled at Bobby’s Megayard in Cole Bay was that we could quickly walk to the best chandleries from the yard. Lacking a car, this was a huge timesaver, as we needed parts and supplies for ongoing projects almost daily.

En route to Island Water World, Budget Marine, and Lagoonies we started looking forward to seeing two funny, cute dogs on the road. They were never apart. They’d crawl out from under cars or come bombing from bushes to lick our faces and accept belly rubs, day and night. They appeared to be in good health, were wearing collars, and were just so social, that we assumed they belonged to somebody. Seeing them daily became our new favorite thing.

Towards the end of our stay in the yard, we stopped in at Made in Spain, the brand new Spanish food and wine store that shares a parking lot with the consignment shop that was home base for the pups. We got to talking with the owners about them, and that’s when we learned that they are brother and sister, totally inseparable, and in need of a permanent home.

Brian and I discussed the possibility day and night, non-stop. We became totally obsessed. There was lots of real talk about how much harder they would make our lives. And also, how much better. In the end, we just couldn’t bear leaving them behind. And so, the next morning, when the ladies arrived to open the Purple Pineapple consignment shop, we were there to inquire about the dogs who lived in their adjacent lot. They connected us with the Animal Defenders of Sint Maarten.

Animal Defenders is an organization that does outreach for the many strays of Sint Maarten. They got our pups neutered/spayed and immunized when they were young (the female has never had a litter), and coordinate volunteers who solicit donations and deliver food to homeless animals all over the island. We gave the pups a trial run. We brought them over to Island Water World to see how they would do on docks and dinghies (love ‘em!), fed them under our boat in the yard (loved it!), and took them on short walks (definitely not leash trained!). Then, we carried them up our 15 foot ladder in tote bags (total angels!) so they could try out the boat. There was an instant connection from the moment they stepped aboard. And, the second I set them down on fuzzy blankets in the cockpit, they fell asleep and stayed asleep for 12 long hours. We all knew they were home.

People in the neighborhood and with Animal Defenders have given them a variety different names – none of which they respond to – so we decided to give the pups a fresh start. We’ll call the girl Marigot, as in Marigot Bay, our first ever landing spot on the French side. The boy is Cole, for Cole Bay, the neighborhood from which we rescued them.

We have a long road ahead with our new boat dogs. We’ll need to teach them everything from getting along with Nico to walking on a leash, to doing their business on the boat. But they are smart, loving, and capable; we have no doubts we can make it work.

The generous and caring people at Animal Defenders of Sint Maarten built this shelter for the dogs and made sure that they were fed daily. Neighbors and the owners of The Purple Pineapple (the shop next door) helped with feeding and care.

Boatyard dinner in the boatyard, under Nightingale Tune

Testing out floating docks at Island Water World

With Adriana, from Animal Defenders of Sint Maarten on Adoption day

With Mercedes, from Animal Defenders of Sint Maarten on adoption day

First sleepover on the boat

First restaurant visit

First boat ride, in the slip waiting to pull out of the yard

OMG water!