DIARY - Martinique

Mon 18 Mar 2019 10:00
Luna Quest, her captain and her first mate spent over a month in Martinique, from 13th February to 18th March....proving that "plans are written in the sand at low tide"!
We enjoyed meeting many great people there, including Irishman Andrew Murray from Doonmore Hotel on Inis Boffin, who made landfall from Cape Verdes on 13th February aboard "L'aureline".   We celebrated St Patrick's night with very enjoyable company from Niamh McAnally and Gary Krieger of "Freed Spirit"...look forward to their book.  We briefly met "Excalibur's" owners Tim and Triona (O'Leary) who were off to Bonaire to buy a Hans Christian 48...hope to meet them again to enjoy more of their great company, and wish them well with their new home.
Ate great Colombo chicken, tapas at "20", and mojito's at Kokoarum.
Had two enjoyable trips to Fort de France, staying at L'imperatrice, the oldest hotel in Martinique, named after Josephine, Napoleon's wife, who apparently convinced him to bring slavery back to provide labour for her family's sugar-cane plantation....hence the beheaded sculpture of her in the town park!
We experienced Carnival there, and some great music at the park's nightly jam-session...all in all its a very quiet city. 
Northern Martinique has beautiful places to see, Mount Pelee standing out on the skyline.  We drove to Le Carbet (Helen's cousin Alan's wife Francoise's hometown), St Pierre, and along the East/Atlantic coastline to La Caravelle...took a hike in the mangrove swamp there.  We explored St Anne's nearby to Marin, and the beautiful beaches Anse de Caritan and Les Salines.   
We went hiking a couple of times in nearby rain-forest.  Helen visited The Pottery Village (of course)...an old Jesuit plantation, now a craft village, and block manufacturer.
Luna Quest got brand new solar panels and batteries...should take care of our energy requirements on passages and make us self-sufficient.
We provisioned, and set sail for Bonaire with our new crew member Stefan Reinhold from France (Sweden/Belgium), who incidentally (another Small World story) is friends with a Hannah Twomey whose father (Mick Davis) lives in Ballyferriter.  Stefan is on his way to Colombia, having left Europe in November...he's flying back home from there.
Pani Pwoblem as the Martiniquens say!
It has been six months since we left Dingle harbour....a very fast six months!