Friday, May 07, 2010

May 6, 2010 - Fort de France, Martinique

One of the curious things about this lifestyle is that Sten and I spend all of our time together. Before we left on this trip, we were lucky if we had one waking hour together a day. Now, we go days and sometimes even weeks without spending any time apart. Luckily, it turns out that we like each other.

Today, for the first time since the girls' spa day last November in Richard's Bay, I left Sten and Mata'irea for several hours, but not for a reason as fun as pedicures and facials. There is supposed to be a clearance office here in St. Pierre, the northernmost anchorage in Martinique, but the Customs Department has suspended service in St. Pierre. So today, while Sten worked on a myriad of niggling maintenance issues on board, I took the bus down to Fort de France to clear us out of the country.

I took care of our outwards clearance, then wandered down to Rue Victor Hugo to check out the boutiques. In a very cool little shop I found a few things to supplement my threadbare wardrobe and handed them to the shop girl so that she could ring them up. I reached into my bag to pull out my wallet, but couldn't find it. Had I dropped it? Been pickpocketed? A brief moment of panic was quickly replaced by utter embarrassment as I tried to explain in broken French that I wouldn't be taking those items after all. Out on the sidewalk I determined that I had just enough coins in a ziplock baggie labeled "Euros" to grab lunch at a hole-in-the-wall (a far cry from the sushi feast I'd been looking forward to) and get a shared taxi bus back up to St. Pierre. Not quite the girl's day out I had planned. Back at the boat, I was very relieved to find my wallet sitting on the nav station, right where I'd left it.

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