Le Marin, Martinique

Lynn & Mike ..around the world
Mike Drinkrow & Lynn v/d Hoven
Wed 31 Dec 2008 12:54
14:27.62N 60:52.08W
Marin, Martinique
On the south coast of Martinique is a huge bay called Cul-de-sac du Marin. It is a huge bay with hundreds of yachts, surrounded by hills and lined with mangroves. Many charter companies are based here, so the marina's are full and the chandleries well stocked.  Martinique is a department, i.e. a part of, France. Meaning that it is maintained, financed and supported,, and therefore much more sophisticated, economically viable than most of the other Caribbean islands.  The name Martinique comes from the Carib word Madinina - Island of Flowers
Armed with our visa's, phrase book and Euros, we headed to town.  Checking-in was highly efficient - you sit down at a computer and fill in/ print your own form, the customs official then stamps it - without even checking - without even looking at those visa's that we took so long to acquire! No visits to the police/ immigration... what a pleasure, what a difference to the officious ex British colonies. Your next stop was a cafe, where we had a breakfast of cafe au lait, baguette and croissants. I have no idea how these French woman manage to stay so slim, eating all this bread!
After browsing the chandleries (very expensive) we headed to the supermarket where we were able to buy some delicacies that we have not seen for some time - Pate's,  Fromage de Chevre, Creme fraiche,  Sun-dried olives and of course, some French wine. Things were going really well, until we headed back on our dinghy. About 50m from the  shore the engine hit something - and we untangled a gill-net from the prop. Then about 100m later and the engine stopped again - we thought it was another net, however, we then noticed that our fuel tank had been stolen....the b*stards!  So out came the oars (not the bridesmaids) and Mike rowed us to shore. Then it started raining, and while we (and )the groceries got soaked, Mike did one of his McGyver moves and managed to rig up a fuel line to a spare bottle of fuel that he had in the front hatch - we were then able to get back to our boat. Thank goodness we had the spare fuel and thank goodness Mike is so inventive!  Well didn't that just put a dampener on what was promising to be a great day!  The sad thing for me about this incident, is that it supports a "racist" opinion that exists in the Caribbean, which I personally despise.  The French have a bad reputation with the English sailors -  more than once we have been told not to anchor next to a French boat, as "they will steal from you". After getting over our anger and frustration, we have been inventing creative curses for the thief - our best one being  "may you soon be invaded by a candiru"
It is New Year's eve tonight, and we don't have anything planned. However we have bumped into Wilhelm and Angela from "Belle Brise" who we met in Bequia, and may have a sunset drink with them.  We wish all of you an exciting 2009!