Apologies for long silence. We haven’t been sitting in a rum induced stupor unable to put finger to keyboard I promise! Actually we just seem to have been very busy since our arrival in Martinique. We spent a week safely tied up to a pontoon in Marina du Marin where there is water and electricity on tap and showers, restaurants, supermarkets all handily nearby.
It is incredibly surreal, having not seen another living soul for three weeks, to arrive in a bustling port where customs must be cleared, laundry laundered and drinks orders placed. By the second day, all those little interactions become the norm once more and the solitary state fades. We’ve been very productive though, fixing a couple of gear failures (hopefully); restocking the boat’s stores for the next 6-7 weeks, trying to make our website function in the bandwidth of the islands (so we don’t have to depend on the wonderful tech mothership in Brighton to keep in touch); giving the boat,her crew and their clothes, a good clean; keeping up with lessons. We’ve also fitted in some lovely outings. Girls and I visited our first palm fringed Caribbean beach, complete with powder soft sand and picture postcard turquoise waters. All impressed! We made a road trip north to St Pierre, the old capital, that was wiped out in the same manner as Pompeii back in 1902. I will let the girls fill you in more on that and also on Martinique Zoo – a great success and incredible setting in a former rum plantation.
After a week though, we had distinctly itchy feet and so we are on our way now to Dominica. Chugging out of Marin harbour, it was liberating to feel the sea breeze once more, producing a physical dropping of the shoulders. Conditions are very (and unusually) benign with barely enough wind to sail, but to our delight, excitement came from another quarter when Tom and Daisy spotted a whale off Fort de France yesterday afternoon. We anchored overnight under the shadow of beautiful Mont Pelee, see pic below, and up at first light heading for Portsmouth, Dominica some 50 miles to the north.