C’est Martinique

My 3 days alone in Rodney Bay Marina on St.Lucia were spent productively doing jobs, having the laundry done, organising the cleaning of Hejira and sorting out the best places to watch the rugby on TV. All this achieved, it was good to welcome my next crew, John Coe from Ash. John is a retired BA pilot and was introduced to me by Richard Cracknell as being suitable as a sailor with the flexibility to fly in and out of different places on staff travel. He was meant to be followed by David Hodges, another retired BA pilot but the whole enterprise has had to be re-worked and shortened, regrettably letting David down and I am very sorry about the disruption I have caused.

In brief, our son Oliver has been selected to play rugby for his country and these are fixtures I really don’t want to miss. On the basis that sailing holidays can be repeated I am returning early, in time for the fixture against Scotland and Hejira will be left in Jolly Harbour on Antigua until I return with Barry at the end of April for the passages back to the UK. This will head off from the British Virgin Islands on the 7th of May and take in Bermuda, and a cruise through the Azores. Ollie was to have crewed from Bermuda to the Azores but he will now be on tour to Canada.

In the mean-time, after a night at anchor off Reduit Beach, John and I have made the passage to Marin on the French Island of Martinique where we are berthed in the Marina. This is such a contrast to our previous Caribbean Island experiences and seems to be like a little slice of France. All of the (very efficient) officials, bar staff, waiters and patrons all seem to be French, it seems to be an enclave and I am not sure it fits well within the Caribbean experience. What have they done with all the ‘locals’?

Still, tomorrow, we sail over 30 miles to Rosseau, at the north end of Martinique from where we will anchor, then set off for Dominica having already ‘cleared in’ and ‘cleared out’ in the same process here.

John makes a contribution:-

Sometimes Life throws you an opportunity that has to be grabbed. So when I got a text from this bloke I’d met in a pub asking me to drop everything (so to speak) and get out to St Lucia for ten days sailing, what could I do except blow any remaining Brownie Points I may have had with my wonderful, long-suffering wife, pack a bag and hop on a flight to St Lucia. Funny that, only three months ago we came out here to Reduit Bay for a beach holiday, and now here I was on this lovely big yacht looking at the beach that I was sitting on looking at the boats anchored in the bay!

The first evening was spent chatting over a bottle of rum based rocket fuel, and it didn’t take long to realise that we both talked the same sort of scribble, which was handy…

Woke up with a headache, so obviously the rocket fuel was off…

Anyway an exceedingly lazy day on Monday was followed today (Tuesday), by a rattling good sail up to Martinique, thought my “Vomitometer” was going into the amber for a while but fine once I took the helm.

John adjusting
John adjusting

So far so good then, but doing more bloody washing up than I’ve done in years!

Bring it on!

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