Sunday, May 02, 2010

May 2, 2010 - Marin, Martinique

We had an easy overnight run from Barbados to Marin, Martinique, arriving in this huge natural harbor just after dawn. As we approached the anchorage we were shocked by the number of boats around us. Between the anchorage, marina and haul out yard, there must be a thousand boats here. We found a spot at the back of the pack, next to the biggest yacht in the harbor, and dropped anchor. We figured that their big black, four-spreader mast would be a good landmark (or is it a watermark?) for us when we needed to find our way back to our own boat among the hordes. What we didn't expect was that the "professional" crew would use their emergency strobe light as an anchor light. Ah, it is good to be back in the Caribbean.

Shortly after we anchored Sten was cooking up our breakfast when he said "it is so flat, I don't know what to do with myself." Every task is much easier when you don't have to brace yourself or keep things from flying about. Not moving is such a nice change after two and a half months of constant movement. We can see why so many boats seem to have gotten stuck here. It is an awfully nice harbor.

It is so nice to be in France.

Everything in Marin is orientated towards sailors who are reliant upon their dinghies to get around. There are four dinghy docks, lining the harborfront. One is in front of the Customs office, making clearing in a snap. The next, in front of the new marina extension, provides easy access to a bakery, grocery and laundry. Down by the haul out yard, another dock provides access to the chandleries, another grocery store, a self-service laundry, a boulangerie, a patisserie, and a rotisserie (Is this heaven?). The fourth and final dock is the newest one, recently built by Leader-Price to provide yachties with easier access to that supermarket. Being able to wheel a grocery cart directly to ones dinghy makes doing a big provisioning much easier. This last dock also provides access to the McDonald's across the street ("Deux Royales with Cheese, please, err, pour favor, err, I mean, s'il vous plait."). All of this makes Marin a great stop after a transatlantic passage. And for being French the locals are surprisingly accommodating about our fumbling attempts to speak their language.

After four days here our fridge is restocked with local pate, fromage, saucisson (cured sausage, sliced and eaten with baguette and cheese), poulet fume, a surprisingly affordable leg of New Zealand lamb, and some gorgeous local veggies. Once again we have a linen closet full of clean sheets and all twenty-two ultrasuede cushion covers are fresh from the laundry. We've gorged ourselves on baguettes, fresh from the oven, and sampled the Ti Punch (a powerful cocktail made with the local rhum agricole, a dash of simple syrup and a squeeze lime), which we can report packs a wallop. We've had a few good nights sleep (despite the strobe light). And so it is time for us to move on.

We're pretty excited about our next leg (all 30 miles of it). We'll be crossing our outbound track and completing our circumnavigation. The champagne is already chilling in the fridge.

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