Fort De France
17:02.11, 14:35.93N 61:04.17W
We left Grande Anse D'Arlet the other day and headed to Anse Mitan about 5 miles up the coast - this was once described as a chic resort - but to us it wasn't a patch on Anse D'Arlet which is small and rustic and very pretty, Anse Mitan just looked like a French resort that had probably seen better days. So - one night anchored there was enough before we headed across the bay to Fort De France this morning. . . ended up anchored next to 'Dos Tintos' again. . but they're great so we like a good chat with them. Found out the Jaad (solo sailor in a ludicrously small boat - 22 feet with an outboard engine) has survived and made it across the Atlantic - took him 32 days with no rudder after day 2 - we saw him today in town, he looked very well to say he has just been on dry land for 3 days but sounds like the crossing was pretty tough, mentally more than physically by the sounds of it - then again - the hardest thing about our crossing was probably the mental not the physical bit but we only had to do 14 days together in our boat, he had 32 days alone in a boat less than a quarter of the size. We said he should write a book - he pretty much has.
Stocked up on shopping at the supermarkets in town - first big shop since Gran Canaria so the granny-cart was dug out of the locker and wheeled about town all afternoon, Adam was keen to build up his T-bag stock again. We bought some loo roll - I like the name - we bought the brand called 'DouDou'.
Fort De France is bustling during the day - people everywhere, markets and fruit and flower stalls on the streets, bit of a change from the villages we have been in the past few days. Not sure how much it is like Paris - it is true there are many clothes shops - but most of the clothes look like they would appear in a rap video - mainly netting and spray on clothing for the ladies, oversized basketball stuff for the blokes. So, we haven't done much clothes shopping (then again - we haven't done much clothes shopping at all in the past 8 months so that's nothing new). It is OK for a look around though and a stock up.
There are some nice buildings in the centre of fort de France - the old library building was designed by Eiffel - built in France, dismantled and shipped to Fort De France. There is a nice old church that is currently being renovated. The old buildings would all be beautiful in their heyday, about half of them are looked after and painted in bright caribbean colours but the other half are looking a bit sad - then again - if they all looked perfect it would look like a toy caribbean city.
Planning to go out to St Pierre tomorrow on the north of the island - this is the bay next to the Volcano where 14 ships sank so hope to do a bit of diving. Dos Tintos are going too so we should have some company for a beer in the evening.
Below is Adam bringing the days bread back to the quay in Grande Anse D'Arlet . . .
Carnival preparations - Grand Anse D'Arlet
View to Fort De France from the anchorage
Eiffel designed Library in Fort de France