Martinique to St Lucia

Sunday afternoon having eaten our bodyweight in Bockits – which is a local bread speciality – and exhausted our internet fix, it was quite late so we abandoned the beach idea and ended up onboard for a couple of hours before going back into town to watch the carnival procession. There were very few people about and it was pretty deserted. We found a good spot up at the end of the town near a local bar and took up our position. Martinique carnival 1

Martinique carnival 2

Lots of kids dressed up as well as loads of men wearing women’s clothes! Not sure what all that was about??? Couldn’t really catch pictures of them unawares due to the lack of crowds… unfortunately!  Same as the young guys wearing what appeared to be gang colours and had also covered their faces with scarves…. Later on the sound system came through…. and the procession started. It was pretty small, very carefully controlled by security people as well as armed police – and it was pretty uninspiring really. Interesting the difference between Dominica where people wander selling baskets of sweets – here in Martinique young women walk around with baskets of free condoms which are given out to other young women…. Overall we had a good time and left to go back to Morphie at around 7.

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We were up early Monday morning and headed out of Sainte Anne bound for St Lucia. Initially we went with reefed sails to test the conditions in the channel…. which can be tricky.   But we very quickly dropped them out and ended up with all three full sails up in the most perfect conditions. Relatively flat seas and 15 to 18 knots of breeze on a broad reach. It was fantastic to say the least. And the whole twenty three miles was done on a single tack….  Best sailing of the trip by far!   Whilst underway we had a little race going on with a 42 foot French Amel who had set off ahead of us and was flying four sails. About half way across the channel we started to overtake him – he clearly wasn’t happy so he tried to head us up into the wind…. Hee hee – we blew him out of the water. Yay!

Arriving in Rodney Bay we anchored off the beach and took dink into the marina to clear into customs, immigration and the port authority. All done quite quickly and friendly…. and we then went into Island Water World to see whether they had stuff that we needed. Bumped into Dan – from Evensong – and ended up going back to their boat to collect Ruth and we were reunited over quick sundowners at the Boardwalk Bar in the marina. We headed back out to the anchorage before dark as we had no lights with us or on Morphie. Had a quiet night in after enjoying our first spectacular St Lucia sunset.

Reunited with Dan and Ruth for sundownersSt Lucia sunset 1

Tuesday morning we radioed the marina and got told which spot had been reserved for us. Great – we came in straight away – and were tied up securely in our slip by around noon. We got ourselves and Morphie cleaned up and then went with Dan and Ruth to the marina pool for a bobbing session. We have all decided that mornings are for boat jobs and afternoons are for having fun whilst we both get ready to greet friends and family in the next week or so. After bobbing we headed back to clean up and went back out for sundowners. We really enjoyed the sights and sounds of being back in the marina and were entertained by a kitten playing up a palm tree – we think he was trying to catch lizards, a little concerned he might be stuck, but he got down as easily as he had climbed up! Realising that we were pretty hungry we headed into the marina’s Thai restaurant for dinner and enjoyed a very hot green curry….. Lovely day.

Rodney Bay Marina 1Rodney Bay Marina 2Rodney Bay Marina 3Chasing lizards

Wednesday and we are cracking on with the boat jobs….. Dan is fixing their generator, Ruth is cleaning and cooking, while I’m starting on the endless round of stainless steel polishing while Richard is off out trying to get new ropes. Both our headsail and staysail furling lines are showing signs of wear – they are more than five years old now. Richard came back quite a bit poorer but laden with new lines…. and promptly installed them… while I carried on with the polishing. We had planned a beach afternoon but we didn’t make it as we all got engrossed in our boat jobs…. so eventually met up for sundowners, enjoyed another sunset, and went back to our respective boats clutching take-out pizzas.  Yes – I know it’s not local food – but having had the choice of chicken or fish with “provisions” for months, we are ready for international stuff!    Tired out we had another early night.

St Lucia sunset 2

Thursday and we are determined to have a beach afternoon….. so the work cut-off time has been set for 1pm!  We were up early, got dink down off his davits, and dinghied into the lagoon to take the short walk through to the mall and the supermarket. It feels really weird to be back in malls and large supermarkets again, but I’m definitely not complaining!!!   We managed to get most things that I wanted to tide us over for now and headed to the bank for some drinking vouchers.

Shopping mall!

Back to the marina and we headed to the beach for a bobbing afternoon.   Richard dropped us all on the beach, went back out, anchored dink, and then swam ashore.  We wandered up to the first local concession on the beach and got a price for their buckets of beer – then tried the second one – and then went back to the first. Everything was being priced in US dollars…. when we said that we wanted to use Eastern Caribbean dollars the prices were significantly reduced as they realised we were cruisers and not cruise ship passengers. Yay….cheap beer!!!  We then cooled off in the water – playing with our new Waboba ball – and had a great bobbing time. Later on we walked up the beach back to our local ladies and tried out their freshly cooked Jerk chicken. Fantastic!

Day at the beach 3

Day at the beachDay at the beach 2

After a chilled afternoon it was time to go – so Dan went to return the bucket / bottles and Richard swam out for dink. He brought it back and we hang onto it…. in the surf / swells…. and we waited, and waited, and waited. So we sent Richard to get Dan back and he started chatting too…. Ruth and I are getting soaked through and our arms are weakening….. We were just debating about driving the dinghy back without them when they showed up. Nearly got left behind guys LOL!!    On the way back to the marina through the inlet we came across a local Rasta man who sells hats / bowls made out of palm leaves, which he does from his little very leaky boat. So we towed him back in much to his amazement.  He seemed pretty happy as he was making thumbs up signs at everybody he knew as we went through the cut alongside Gros Islet. Lovely day had by all. Back on board Morphie and we were in bed pretty early again….

Gros Ilet side of the channelGetting a lift back

Friday was fishing day!   Dan and Ruth had chartered a deep sea fishing boat with Captain Tom before and asked us whether we wanted to join them. We have never done this before so were up for it. Up very early to make a picnic lunch, 7.30 meet at the coffee shop and 8.00 we were heading out. It was pretty calm and we were going fast…. while Captain Tom got the rods / lures / bait ready. Into the channel between St Lucia and Martinique and it was really lumpy…. We were surprised that the local fishermen were out in their little motor boats – looked way too dangerous today.

Fishing trip 1Fishing trip 13

Fishing trip 2Fishing trip 4Fishing trip 6Fishing trip 3

Anyway, we were hopeful and we sorted out the order we would take the bites – Dan, Richard, Ruth then me. We had our instructions in using these reels, very different from any that we had used before, and settled down to wait. And we waited…. and waited….. and waited…. We moved position…. we rebaited the lures….. we changed the lures….. we changed the depths of the lures….. we dragged attractive things in the water behind us. We ate sandwiches and then drank beer. Nothing going on…. Oh hang on… Yay!!! Line streaming out… Dan is in the chair and, to his disappointment, brings in a barracuda. Back to the waiting…… Yes….goes again…. Richard is in the chair and, again, disappointment with another barracuda. Nothing else happened so Ruth and I didn’t get to have a go before we headed back into the marina….. Oh well, never mind, we had a great time.

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As we drove through the channel we saw Patrick and Lucie (Illusions) in their dinghy and shouted to them. They turned and we were all reunited in the Boardwalk where we had quite a few sundowners, a lot of laughs and I really am not sure what they were doing when I took this silly photo!

The gang being silly!

This morning, Saturday, Richard is busy getting on with boat jobs while I’ve been for a long overdue haircut….

Bye for now