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Date: 10 Feb 2007 22:41:55
Title: Le Marin, Martinique

Date: 10-02-07     Time: 22:30 UTC      Position: 14:27.93N  060:52.19W   Name: Le Marin, Martinique 

Click here for English version;

Liggende på anker i går kveld lagde vi nydelig mat ombord, med en god fransk rødvin. Etterpå så vi en DVD på PC-en. I dag sov vi lenge før vi stod opp. Første jobb i dag var å sjekke inn med myndigheter - og her så vi tydelig forskjell fra de andre landene vi har besøkt her i Karibia. Her var det kun ett skjema som skulle fylles inn som dekket båten og oss ombord. Dette ga vi til den hyggelige toll-betjenten som ga oss gjenparten av skjemaet og ønsket oss et fint opphold på Martinique. Hun var ikke interessert i å se passene våre eller båtdokumentene. Hun var heller ikke interessert i å se våre utreisepapirene fra St. Lucia. Overalt ser vi at vi egentlig er i Frankrike og ikke i Karibia i det hele tatt og vi vil sikkert ramse opp en del av disse forskjellene etterhvert. Hadde dette vært St. Lucia hadde det vært masse "boat boys" som skulle selge oss brød, frukt, fisk, T-skjorter osv. men her finns de ikke i det hele tatt! Egentlig litt synd fordi det hadde vært godt med fersk brød og croissants til frokost! En annen forskjell var frukt- og grønnsaksmarkedet. Her var varene så å si lik andre plasser, men her var alle varene priset, man kunne gå i fred uten mas fra pågående selgere og man fikk dermed velge fra de forskjellige selgere etter kvalitet og pris. På markedet i Bequia var det ingen priser oppgitt, og heller ikke en vekt å se. Prisen var opp til selgeren å si utifra ca. vekt og om kjøperen var blåøyd (eller hvit i huden!) - pruting var høyst nødvendig og stemningen kunne lett bli litt amper. Men ikke her i det siviliserte Frankrike! Dagens bilde er fra markedet.
 
Le Marin er en stor havn for charter-selskap og har dermed mange båt-butikker med alt mulig. Vi var innom et par stykker og kjøpte deler til vår franske båt som vi ikke har sett ellers på turen vår - selv ikke i Frankrike! Jeg har dermed hatt en hyggelig ettermiddag med småjobber på båten, inkludert å bytte et pumpestempel i det ene toalettet. Det virker som vi har toalett-problemer stadig vekk - selv om dette problemet ikke var mer alvorlig enn at det var blitt litt vanskelig å pumpe sjøvann inn.
 
Både i går og i dag har vi ikke kunnet bruke mobiltelefonene våre til å sende bloggen og må ty til Iriduim - som er kostbar og treg. Jeg skjønner ikke hvorfor det er slik i et så teknisk avansert land. Dermed har jeg måtte forminske bildene veldig.
 
 
Fruktmarkedet - alle varene er merket med pris - og prisene var lavere enn ellers i Karibia.
The fruit market - everything marked with the price and the prices lower than elsewhere in the Caribbean.

English version

We lay well at anchor and enjoyed an evening of good French food and wine on board, followed by an episode of "Dinner Ladies" (BBC TV-series) on the DVD. We had a good lie in this morning too as there was no noise from other boats out here at anchor. Our first job was to check in with the authorities - usually an auspicious job involving several authoritative customs officers who will pick on any small error made on the forms which have to be filled in. Here we saw a big difference from the bureaucracy of St. Lucia and St. Vincent to the efficiency of France/Martinique. We had just one form to fill in with some details of the boat and our passports, the sort with internal carbon paper to make two copies. We handed this to the very pleasant customs officer who spoke quite reasonable English, she quickly checked that we had filled out all the questions then stamped and signed it, returning the copy to us for when we leave. She did not want to see our passports or the boat documents at all. We were out in under ten minutes! We see the cultural differences between French Martinique and the independent islands everywhere - we will write more about them in later blogs. One is the absence of boat boys - there are none here at all despite there being over one hundred boats at anchor, fifty mooring buoys and 600 berths - primarily for different charter companies. If this was St. Lucia the place would be crawling with them selling bread, fruit, fish, T-shirts, jewellery etc. Actually I would have liked to have just one boat boy bringing us fresh bread and croissants at breakfast time, but there was no one. Our next impression of the difference came when we went to the fruit and vegetable market. Similar to the one on Bequia in size, the difference was huge. On Bequia there were no prices marked or any weighing scales in use. The sellers were extremely pushy and you always left with a feeling of having paid five times more than one of the locals would have paid. Here on Martinique all the sellers had clearly marked the price so that one could chose according to quality and price. They were not pushy at all - just very helpful despite having no command of English whatsoever. Today's picture is from the vegetable market.
 
Le Marin is a big harbour and has thus several good chandleries. We paid a couple a visit and picked up parts identical to the originals on our French built boat - which are impossible to get in other places. I have thus had a pleasant afternoon doing some small jobs on the boat - including changing the seal on one of the toilets which was getting a bit difficult to pump in sea water due to the seal leaking air. It seems that we are always doing toilet jobs - though this was a clean and simple process.
 
Both yesterday and today I have been unable to send the blog with the GSM-telephone and have had to use the Iriduim instead - which is both slow and expensive. Thus the pictures have been rather small.
 

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