Martinique Thursday 12th February

Mor Toad / Moy Toad
David and Jocelyn Fawcett
Sat 14 Feb 2015 16:03
14:25.92N 60:53.16W

Well the water maker was fixed on Wednesday took all day and not easy for David and Dan working in the cabin in the heat. A new microwave was purchased as the original one gave up the ghost whilst we were in Rodney Bay marina.

The marina was huge and like many marinas bit impersonal but good facilities including a small pool which we made good use of. By going across the inside lagoon of the marina surrounded by large houses with their own jetties you could reach a shopping mall with two good supermarkets and a variety of other shops. Useful but out of practice !

David spent Monday checking out whether the parts had arrived and trying to get things moving with success. The rest of us walked to Pigeon Island ( now connected to mainland with huge Sandals Hotel on it ) to check out the surf for Dan. Long hot dusty walk mostly along roads but once there definitely surf one side of the isthmus and nice beaches the other side which is where we spent some time to try and cool down. Getting back as I certainly didn't want to walk was a negotiated taxi ride from a lady in one of the tourist shops - we had hoped to get the water taxi but it didn't seem to operate from the beach we were on. The next day we all went back to Pigeon Island in the dinghy as the water maker parts wouldn't be out of customs till later that day. Dan took his surf board and had a couple of hours surfing and we went into the jetty at PI and once we'd paid the National Trust entrance fee were free to roam. Lots of derelict buildings with descriptions left from various stages of French/Anglo conflict over the years. David and I walked up to the highest point and could see Dan surfing then Alex and Merryn walked up to the fort on the other end and we finally ended up in a cafe for lunch and Dan joined us having had fun. We then had a short time on the beach which was very crowded as a cruise liner was in the bay before returning in the dinghy to hopefully finalky get our hands on the motor we needed for the water maker.

We had thought once the water maker was fixed we'd go and anchor out in the bay for the night before setting sail but we decided to stay in The Marina as we discovered from their blog that Leeway with Jukka and Anne would be arriving in Rodney Bay late Wednesday afternoon having just completed their crossing and we wanted to see them and congratulate them. We first met them when we were all on an anchorage in Lanzarote. They were intending to go across with The ARC but had to turn back with major sail problems. We met up again in Las Palmas in December where they were patiently waiting for parts and weren't at all sure what they were going to do. So it was great to see that they had finally made it across 'The Pond' with a young Finnish couple onboard. Not without more problems and they had had to go via Mindelo in Cape Verdes for sail repair and replace their batteries which we gather wasn't the greatest of experiences and expensive. So we bought them a bottle of champagne and celebrated their arrival and all had supper together. Strange to relive The Atlantic Crossing exactly 5 weeks on from our arrival.

So onto Martinique. We arrived here from St Lucia mid afternoon on Thursday having had a very good sail across skippered by Alex and Dan (whilst we looked after the children)? in light winds and calm sea. About 4 hours. Both children slept for part of the journey. As we were nearing Martinique a helicopter came round us so low down you could see the passengers inside. Unfortunately Sam was fast asleep as he would really have got excited as he points out every airplane and helicopter he sees and today climbed on the coach roof and pretended to play aeroplanes pulling all the clutches up - thankfully we were at anchor.

Once anchored in quite a large bay on the south end of the island near the village of Sainte Anne Alex and Dan went ashore to do the signing in which is just done on a computer terminal in a cafe. All very simple or it was for them though apparently a French keyboard. They came back saying it was just like a French Village with an Eglise, La Poste, La Boulangerie et La Creperie and street cafes and odd to walk around in The Caribbean with everything in French and good ice cream too.

Yesterday we all went for a walk along the coastal path from here which runs quite some distance round the south of the island. We went slightly further than the B team but the path is in the trees which provided welcome shade. Beautiful long white sandy beaches with many French in various stages of 'deshabille' ( couldn't do the acute accents) .We stopped and had an expensive lobster salad at a busy beach cafe in the trees. Walking back having had a swim we met the rest of the crew who had had a good walk and play/swim on the beach and all walked back together for ice cream and 'Orangina' . It's a strange feeling here as Caribbean but European too with good baguette pain au chocolate and Les Glaces.

We think we shall be here another day and then we shall move north up the island before sailing to Dominica .