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.

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