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Date: 08 Feb 2011 01:30:13
Title: Bonjour - from Martinique

07:02.11, 14:26.25N 60:53.15W
 
Yesterday we left St Lucia and sailed to Martinique, it's only 25 miles from Rodney Bay to St Annes's in Martinique where we have anchored - but for 3 hours between the islands we were firmly back in the Atlantic with the winds blowing between the two islands and the seas rolling, we heard that sailing up the lee of the islands was quite nice and flat and sailing between the islands out here is . . . bracing - especially as it was upwind all the way. 
 
It would all have been great fun and it was, apart from one minor occurence - we may have crossed the atlantic, but we're still capable of managing to leave the hatch to the forepeak (our bedroom!) slightly open. .  . the reason was the anchor windlass controls live in there. .  usually we remember to close it after taking up the anchor. . . but this time we set off, with great excitement into some lovely big waves . .  water sluicing down the side decks, the boat happily piling along at a quick rate. . and the atlantic bucketing through a half inch opening and onto our bed.
 
Luckily Adam went downstairs and noticed the ensuing devastation and closed the hatches, but on arriving in Martinique we did spend the next couple of hours mopping, washing sheets and trying to dry out our matress.  Still - no more harm done than some soggy cushions and matresses.  The bilges have had a nice rinse in the process.  We won't be doing it again though.
 
We're now anchored in clear water just off a little town called St Annes, whilst drying out our washing and only a couple of hours after we arrived Kevin and Jean turned up in a tender, turns out they are anchored about 500 yards away - we got to know them in the canaries and haven't seen them since early December when they set off across the Atlantic so was great to catch up with them.  The people of St Anne's must have heard we were coming across and kindly decided to stage a carnival for us - a kind of mini mardi gras, so first evening here we went ashore with Kevin, Jean and their visiting family to watch the procession of various groups drumming, singing and dancing - a good night was had  I think the drumming that they do is must mesmerising (sorry - only took the cheap camera with us)
 
 
Some serious trumpet playing
 
Unfortunately I forgot my outfit so couldn't join in
 
Slightly scary dancing devil - although he did stand still for ages while I wrestled with the camera flash / settings etc - he gave up on waving though after about the first 5 minutes. . .
 
St Anne Carnival main stage - after 2 hours of performing through the streets all the various groups get another 20 minutes on the stage
 
Very windy day today in which we had to dinghy a mile into Marin to clear customs. .  and got soaked again in the process.  We've had a bit of a look around, purchased things we haven't seen for a while as now we're back in France (well - sort of, it's still in the EU, still part of France, supermarkets are French) - so we have our nice bread, goats cheese and Adam has stocked up with blue cheese.  Martinique looks like a very nice place - France in the Caribbean.
 
I think the thing that helped Adam decide it was a good place to be was the fact that we anchored next to a boat from Norway. . . that was populated by about 6 Norweigan lasses who spent yesterday afternoon draped around their boat in bikini bottoms, we were up early this morning to get to customs and get the paperwork done - they were up early this morning to go for a naked swim off the back of their boat.   Unfortunately for Adam they have moved on this afteroon. . . what a shame.
 
 

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