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Date: 06 Jan 2011 03:35:00
Title: Getting into the Caribbean vibe

Wednesday night

After writing such a long blog this morning, Andrea and I went out into Marigot to get some lunch. We walked past - well, through, actually - a series of pavement cafes all doing very similar French food but none appealed. Then we crossed the road and found some lively little places with a more Caribbean feel and ate in one of those. We had a couple of shrimp dishes, mine served with rice and peas so that's pretty local. We went off afterwards to look at the local market which was interesting but all the stalls were selling brightly coloured cotton print clothing and a variety of handicrafts, neither of which we were interested in. The only thing that did take my eye was a giant Rasta hat complete with fake dreadlocks all around but I managed to resist buying one.

We got back onboard Saxon Blue, by which time it had got really hot and we were feeling a bit cooked. Kali was drooping, too, so we decided to go for a swim. As there didn't seem to be a suitable beach nearby, we jumped in the tender and went out into the bay where we picked up a small mooring buoy. Andrea and Kali just swam around and I played with my snorkelling gear, diving down to the beds of seagrass on the bottom of the bay where I could see various fish and a large green starfish. The water was wonderful - warm enough to be pleasant but cool enough to be refreshing and we all came back to the marina feeling a lot more lively. Then it was time for my haircut. We got the clippers out and I sat on the aft deck while Andrea removed sackfulls of grey, leaving me looking younger, fitter and generally a bit like Vin Diesel.

By now, Bill had returned, having spent most of the day getting his excess clothes returned to the USA. He'd had to trek all over the island to find a DHL office and then fill in copious forms with details of the value and even the type of fabric mix of each of his garments. I think it cost him a fortune and his flight bag was still massive when he'd finished. He looked decidedly flustered by the time it was all packed and he was ready to take a taxi to the airport. Then it was time to say goodbye to our friend and crewmate. He's been great fun to have around and we'll really miss him. Hopefully, we'll catch up on another island as we cruise around. He's gone to Antigua now and then he's off to the US Virgin Islands and we intend to visit both of those.

After Bill left, we did a few jobs on the boat and then had some veggie chilli and fresh French baguette for our dinner. It was great just sitting in the cockpit, chatting and eating. Kali had received an email from Big Bill on Alerre confirming that we had won the impromptu race down from Bermuda by about an hour. As we had further to go and they had the larger vessel (also the more racy design and certainly the more racy crew) I think Saxon Blue aquitted herself really well. They also confirmed that they had, in fact, had spare propane the whole time but only realised it once they'd finished the voyage. I think we all enjoyed having the added dimension of the other boat being out there - it made the sea seem a bit less lonely. I think we were only about 100 miles apart at the greatest distance so 4146 MHz worked well as a communication frequency.

After dinner, we watched an episode of Battlestar Galactica which was even more traumatic than usual and now it's time for bed. It's been a good day in terms of getting used to the feeling of being here. Marigot is like a mix of a scruffy bit of France with elements of India. The town is good fun and the swimming was great so we're starting to feel a bit more at home.

Harvey

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