Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Fort de France, Martinique

We left Guadeloupe and made our way to Martinique but since we did not want to do a really long passage again we headed to Roseau Dominica for the night and decided to just yellow flag it as we would be leaving at first light. Yellow flagging or Q flagging means to fly your quarentine flag and not check into the country. You can do this for a nights rest if you dont plan on getting off of your boat and heading to shore. As we were pulling into the anchorage we decided on a mooring ball as it was getting to be dusk and light was fading. As we had heard about the "boat boys" we already knew what to expect. They meet you as you are coming in and introduce themselves and help you pick up your mooring ball. They are so organized here that they have kind of a union called Pays. Which is good because it helps to keep them in check. They do all sorts of things, get you supplies, get the customs officials to you, fuel. They also act as security for your boat. Guessing the rule is if you see a boat tended to by a Pays guy you leave it alone which is nice. So we were met by our boat boy who helped us tie up to the mooring. It was $15.00 US a night and we tipped him $5.00 for his assistance. Probably too much but we were tired. We told him we would be leaving at first light and off to bed we went. The following morning we made tracks to Martinique. We anchored in front of the town square and found a decent spot of sand in about 17 feet of water.

Somewhere along the way in Martinique
Fort de France

Its a colorful city and that day they were having an outdoor festival around the water front. This made for a very loud night until about 3am when the party finally died. Good thing I was so tired and had ear plugs. We checked in the next morning and decided to walk into town forgetting that they pretty much roll the street up in these countries on Sunday. As we walked we noted how much this area reminded us of New Orleans, not so much the look but the smell. Guessing they didnt have port a toilets at the event last night as the streets reeked of urine. So far not impressed. We did happen to find a Kentucky Fried Chicken open where we could have a coffee and get some free internet to check in with family and friends. Afterwards we headed back to the boat for a relaxing rest of the day.

Dinghy dock and waterfront

We stayed here for close to a week waiting on a good weather window to get us to St. Lucia. While we waited we were joined with some of the other Rat Pack which is always nice to have a few people you know close by. We needed to reprovision so we headed to town and did some shopping at the Leader price store. We found they actually had good prices on seafood so we bought a bag of shimp and 2 bags of mussels. And of course town did not disappoint. Sadly there was a homeless man laying in the middle of the sidewalk as people had to step over him. Both Dirk and I began to wonder if he was even alive and were relieved to see him move. So sad.....We did manage to walk further into the city and found many streets lined with shops selling the same thing from store to store, shoes and fabric. We found a music store where Dirk was able to pick up some new reeds for his sax. We also found an open air market where they sold many spices and vegatables.

Vanilla beans everywhere, and cheap

We purchased a few items and continued along our way.

Cemeteries remind me of New Orleans

Once we passed the graveyard we started noticing a change of scenery and knew it was time to turn around, which we did and headed to a great little baguette shop that made great sandwiches for lunch before heading back to the boat. It finally looked as if we might have a break in the weather on the 25th and used this small window to make it to St. Lucia.


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