Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Visit To Martinique (again) and back to Rodney Bay

March 28, 2007
We had a lovely time in Martinique visiting two close cruiser friend couples; Roger and Francoise aboard "Starship Annie" and Jaime and Dan aboard "Nereia". Our sail across from St. Lucia was a fast one. We had a steady 20 knot wind and the boat made over 7 knots consistently. The waves were so big that sitting in my captain's chair 10 feet from the water's surface, the horizon disappeared frequently and I ended up laying on my back in the chair - amazing. The boat just surges through and this doesn't bother me anymore - it's exhilarating.
We cruised through the St. Anne anchorage and found "Starship Annie". After anchoring we had them over for drinks and caught up on our travels. We've known them for over two years and spent time with them in Annapolis, the Bahamas, Newport and Trinidad. The next day we walked around the charming town of St. Anne. As it was Sunday the church was full for services and hymns wafted out the open door.
We had coffee and arranged for a rental car for Monday. That night we enjoyed a terrific meal of coq au vin on board their boat. The drive up the east side of the island was very pretty the next morning. It's an open agricultural area with colorful houses and lots of flowers. We drove down a long peninsula called Tartane and ate lunch in a small village on the beach.
Colorful fishing boats lined up on one end. Fisherman were busy mending nets and working on their equipment in nearby sheds.
At the end of the peninsula is a abandoned plantation that has been partially restored and open to the public. It's an evocative place and the sights and sounds of the slave village were presented in an audio program. The beautiful stones and floors tiles fascinated Heather. But next we had a more practical task - provisioning. Our destination was a Super Marche, Hyper U. This enormous store had most everything you could get in any other part of France. We stocked up on cheeses, pates, wine, and lots of delicacies. Amazingly enough we ran into Jaime and Dan in the parking lot. We had already been in touch and made plans to have lunch with them in Marin the next day. With a full trunk and back seat we came back to our dingies in the dark and loaded them to the gills.
We took a taxi into Marin and had a wonderful time lunching and talking with Jaime and Dan. We've traveled down with them off and on since leaving Georgetown in the Bahamas a year ago and saw them a lot in Trinidad. They are terrific fun and we were sad to say goodbye for awhile. We may see them in Ecuador this summer! We also made plans there to have some new batteries installed the next morning at the boatyard - all in our fractured French.
The next morning as planned we motored into Marin, tied up at the dock and started the process only to discover the batteries were the wrong kind. Woops! A few calls to Rodney Bay settled that we could get them there, so off we went, sailing across back to St. Lucia in more settled seas but good wind. We anchored off Pigeon Island again and next morning were back in the Marina.Luckily Matthew's men were available to help Scott with the batteries. Each weighs 150 lbs so it's a two man job. It took most of the day to install and connect them up. Still we were ready by early afternoon and cast off the lines (this SHOULD be the last time we're in Rodney Bay). It was a lovely sail down to the Pitons and this time the same spot so gusty during our visit last time, was tranquil. Tommorrow we're off to Bequia.

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