Sunday, December 30, 2012


After a great few days in St Annes we headed out for the easy sail to one of my favourite anchorages, Grand Anse d'Arlet. En route we passed Diamond Rock and I got to tell Jan the story of the British sailors who had landed cannon powder shot and supplies then somehow got them up the near vertical sides on to the top where they set up a battery and created a “stone frigate” which was a thorn in the French side for 17 months.

We arrived and I was horrified to see a cruise ship and a case of white acne in the anchorage. However the cruise ship left and so far the mooring balls are free but it does not bode well for the future.

We had a couple of days rain and the cabin roof leak which I had fixed returned. Now it is not a big leak but it does leak right in the middle of my bed! I will goop it up but need to think of a better solution. The problem is that there is movement in the area and it shears any sealant I use. I think I need some lateral thinking.

After two days rain the battery was low and I fired up the engine to charge it but there was no output. The usual suspect is the belt but I fitted a new one but still no go. A prolonged faultfinding session finally tracked down a broken wire inside the insulation with nothing visible from the outside. So we have charging again.

One of the attractions here is the excellent snorkeling, again we will let the pics speak for themselves.

The last pic was included even though it is less clear than the others because it shows two lionfish. Jan over two days has spotted 4 of these fish which are a serious threat to the reef ecosystem. They have no natural enemies out here in the Caribbean and are themselves voracious predators.

We treated ourselves to a Sunday lunch out today.

A really nice place with 'pieds dans mer'.

BTW this place has some really


Tuesday, December 25, 2012


There was not a brussel sprout to be seen.

Joanne from Ultra had organised the cruisers pot luck on the beach at the dive shop. There was a white elephant present thingie which was new to me. You bring a present draw a number then get to choose a present and after unwrapping it can swap it with someone who has already got a present. It was lots of fun and while I started with a potato, finished with a Henderson's veggie restaurant of Edinburgh cook book.

Jan and I ate too much and had too much fun!

After the blow out on the beach we were glad to get back to the boat and have a gentle swim to try and work off some of the LBs we had just added.

Monday, December 24, 2012


We had a an easy sail up to Cul de Sac du Marin in Martinique leaving from Pidgeon Island in St Lucia with all the correct paperwork in place and a favourable wind so we could lay the course. Elephants Child sailed past another two boats and we outpointed them as well. It all made for a pleasant if somewhat smug sail and it was so smooth that Jan had a nap in the cockpit.

We had a surprise as we entered the narrow entrance to Marin seeing a large ship at anchor. It was the wealthy boat owners door to door boat delivery service.

They sink the ship so that the boats can be loaded on board then deliver them to the required destination when then the ship sinks again and the boat floats off.

We actually got to see this happening and it was quite eerie to see this large ship sitting high on the water deliberately sinking itself till little of the ship was visible.
But it all went smoothly.

I always stock up in Martinique with pate, good coffee, nachos, salsa, wine, and other goodies some of which might even be good for me, and when they are stowed we float a little deeper in the water!

Walk in Marin, Martinique

Now that all the shopping was complete, as evidenced by how much lower Elephant's Child is riding in the water after John's stop at Leader Price (French version of Wal Mart), we decided to take a bit of a walking tour in search of an old church. So we set off in the Mighty Dingy for shore ending up at the north side of the anchorage. We walked thorough a boat yard to get to the streets.

Jan, with her new camera, was right on the spot taking pictures as we walked.
First we passed a department store that Jan had been looking for so we ducked in there. Unfortunately when we ducked out we found ourselves facing yet another patisserie that just beckoned us. As you can see from the pictures either someone let us take pictures of their food or we had a very nice treat!

John's comment: ''I have followed a blog in which the author ran out of things to say and had resorted to taking pictures of his breakfast. I swore I would never sink so low, however, this isn't breakfast they are works of art worthy of pictures and lip smacking consumption.''

Heading off a little heavier we came to an old home

that seemed as if it should have been in the mansion category in years past.

The church we were looking for was visible, so with a few suggestions on how to get there, we set off. Along the way we passed through some narrow streets with weathered shutters and lots of pretty flowers.

One narrow curving stairway caught our attention considering the French tendency to consume wine in quantity.

We came upon the church

first seeing it from a block or so away. It was beautiful and obviously quite old. The outside was again reflective of the climate with no windows, just shutters, and plenty of tile.

The steps leading into the front of the church were 'paved' with small rounded stones laid into the walkway on their side. As we passed around the side of the church and wandered through a graveyard it was very clear just how old this facade was. Many of the mausoleums were very well attended with candles, flowers and pictures laid out on the tops but others were less ostentatious.

As we left the church we noticed some graffiti

on the facing wall of the road as well as a painted mural on a wall close by.

On our walk along the waterfront back to the dingy we passed some of the yoles that we had seen sailing days before when we were in Rodney Bay.

The large sticks are wedged into the facing gunnel and people go out on them to keep the boat from tipping over. These are the same boats that did an ocean passage from Martinique to St. Lucia and back in 15 to 20 knots plus 1 ½ to 2 meter swells! Pretty amazing..

Along our walk we passed a number of cats that

John kept trying to befriend, without any luck. There is little doubt that he will find one that decides to be a mariner kitty soon.

A long walk and we were back to the dingy dock and on our way back to Elephant's Child. Not too far from the dock we came across someone who had a stalled motor so we gave him a tow back to his boat. A thankful Captain invited us aboard for a drink but we were ready to be done for the day and declined. Bid them farewell and a safe voyage.

We are looking forward to Christmas amongst fellow cruisers island style. The venue will be the beach at St Annes just round the coast from Marin. En route from Marin to St Anne I always check out the volleyball court at the famed Club Med Martinique

but the days of topless volleyball courts being full of bright and bouncy young things seem to be long gone now. In fact their customers have gone, the beach was empty, the water ski boats tied up, and only the single windsurfer cutting through water.

Anyway Christmas is coming and the goose is no where to be seen, who knows what the menu will be but we will see what people bring. I am sure we will not go home to Elephants Child hungry.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Passed two other boats.

What do you call two boats going in the same direction?

Yeah a RACE.

Elephants Child is FAST !!!!!!!


Passed two other boats.

What do you call two boats going in the same direction?

Yeah a RACE.

Elephants Child is FAST !!!!!!!


Passed two other boats.

What do you call two boats going in the same direction?

Yeah a RACE.

Elephants Child is FAST !!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


One of the highlights of being in Rodney Bay has been seeing the ARC boats come in. Now that most of them are in it's interesting to see what happens around the marina. Some of them have decorated their boats for the

holidays, dragged out the ripped sails and broken equipment as they lined up in Island Water World, the chandlery here, to order new. There are a whole slew of events planned for ARC participants including bringing in the schooner used in filming Pirates of the Caribbean, a Pan Band competition
and today, our neighbor in the anchorage, Chris Doyle, spoke about places to visit in the Caribbean. Chris Doyle, to all you non-sailors, is a well known author of numerous sailing guides to the Caribbean. As for what the ARC boats are most involved in once they have successfully crossed the Atlantic and arrived in party central.....I'm sure you guessed, LAUNDRY

and lengthy showers. John walked by the showers as a couple met outside just in time to hear their remarks of, '' boy that was good''. Sparkle Laundry is booked out a couple days and not answering calls over the VHF.

Sunday was the day we saw J24s racing in the bay crewed by kids from the ARC.

Gros Islet Walk

Our last day in Rodney Bay was spent touring Gros Islet. It was windy and a bit on the cooler side so we knew the heat of the day would be comfortable. So after depositing our Mighty Dingy dockside we walked a quarter of a mile from the modern mall style built especially for the cruisers coming in to the more real setting reflective of island life in Gros Islet.

We passed a number of homes that covered a broad range from the tiny little compact home along the main road to a group that were very brightly decorated with paint and tiles.

Overall we thought it was much nicer than Castries was. There was little litter, yards were swept, people were friendly and organic lawn mowers were apparent

along with the ever present chickens.

After a walk that took us past a Catholic Church with Joseph, the worker, painted behind the altar. The church was HUGE,

well maintained and is the choir we've heard on Sundays is any measure, well attended. The waterfront found some fishermen cleaning some fish

and drying their nets. A bit farther down the road John found his way into a Rum Shop where he was able to get some good news about friends he'd met on a previous visit to St. Lucia. A couple of older Rastas who had run a restaurant were both alive, one it was rumored had died, so a bit of good news in the end. Unfortunately they had moved elsewhere.

Lunch time? We found our way to a Rastafarian Restaurant,

Seven Stitches,

for lunch. Ital Food (Rastafarian food is vegan and fresh) was about the safest thing around for us to eat. So we settled in to our chosen meals sitting at a picnic table outside the restaurant as we watched the entertainment across the street. John had a bowl of ''bouillon '', a very thick soup with vegetables and dumplings, and Jan had something that was very good and shall go unnamed-because I forgot! The part I didn't forget was the dark chocolate roll I had that morning......and as you can see John went looking for one

after finishing his soup, but even begging didn't help him!!
Now for the entertainment that was right before our eyes, on the other side of the street. Jan amused herself trying to capture the attitude our neighborhood rooster

was trying to convey to the ladies.

John noticed the contrast of women doing laundry by hand in plastic drums outdoors

while another woman worked on a computer.

MARTINIQUE BOUND ON WEDNESDAY. Cul de Sac du Marin if we get a good slant but we might just finish in Grande Anse D'Arlet. We need to be somewhere with a good internet connection by Friday as Jan has a phone interview that day.