Fort de France
30 December 2013 – at anchor, Fort de France
Firstly, here is a selection of pix from the crossing.
De Big Fish!
Life in a flat calm…
And a quiet moment…
And now to resume the story. Fort de France is more attractive than we had been led to believe. The anchorage here is great; really in the City Centre. The clearance out is via a single computer in a chandlery store just by the sea front. It was straightforward but protracted – we were no 5 in the queue.
The anchorage is just under the Fort St Louis, still an active naval base. Here is the view from the boat in the daytime…
Well, here we are with a ringside seat for the pre-New-Year’s concert in Fort de France. The groups have been practising since we arrived yesterday afternoon – and indeed even before, as the throbbing bass disturbed sleep in Anse Mitan on Saturday night. There has been jazz; just now we’re swinging into rasta rap. Boats are surrounding us ready for the fireworks at 8.30pm. There are moments when there seems to be a competition between sound systems on sports boats and stages in the park. Roger describes them as pillocks. There has been an amazing display of fireworks from the naval base at Fort St Louis, lasting more than half an hour, with big shells lighting the battlements. Here is the view from the boat at night! Roger was up until after midnight to protect the boat; I tried to sleep fully dressed waiting for the call to repel boarders; and Mario and Chantal forward of us on Edel spent a lot of time fending off sports boats that were far too close.
Bryan, Jenny, Lucy and Tim left this afternoon on the 4pm bus for the airport (price €2.40 each.) We left them to the chaos of packing whilst we arranged clearance from Martinique. We got back to a boat that was ready to go and everything packed away for their flight… they then focussed on exploring Fort de France and stocking up on food before the journey. We all left the boat at about 3.30pm for the gare routiere which is about 100 metres away from the boat on the sea front. With the luggage it took 4 dinghy trips. The bus was waiting and Roger supported the chauffeuse in loading the baggages. Before leaving she shook both of us by the hand which we though was a sign of respeck. Tim, with the one big bag that wouldn’t fit under the back seats, was sat next to the driver – he always seems to smell of roses, that boy! Their flight is about 7.30pm and comprises a 10 hour flight to Orly; then a lay-off of 2 hours prior to a 1 hour flight into London City. Lucy and Tim then go on to Bristol to celebrate New Year with friends; Bryan and Jenny catch a train to Beccles at 1800 GMT. Their journey will be very long.
Off to St Lucia Rodney Bay tomorrow for our own celebrations of the new year. We’re using the final hours of time in Martinique using the Vodafone euro traveller benefits – tomorrow officially we leave Europe!