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13 March 2012

On a quitté le Kansas, Toto.

After a 22 hour slog from Bequia (wind wrong direction, current wrong direction, seas a mess), we arrived in Martinique yesterday morning. We will be here for a couple of days, and then head for Europe, and return on the 5th of April, so the boat will be tucked into her Mediterranean mooring while we are away.
This place is so different from many of the other islands, partly because it is France, and partly because it is much bigger than, for example, Grenada - about 400,000 people live here, versus around 110,000 in Grenada. There is only one marina, and it is enormous, with many private boats and charter boats permanently berthed or moored here.
On the more positive side - cappuccino, baguette, fromages, croissants, rhum agricole...
We are working on getting to a solution for the power problem that we encounter nearly everywhere in Caribbean marinas - they advertise that they can provide for boats that run on 110 - but they lie. It matters less to us now that we have the solar panels, but while we are away we like to have some extra insurance that we can keep the boat dry, with fans and the de-humidify setting on the a/c unit. It's always something...speaking of which, the Internet service here is less than wonderful, so posting photos may have to wait for Europe.

07 March 2012

Bouncing Bequia

We did indeed leave Grenada, on Friday the 2nd of March. We spent the night of the 1st back at the dock at Clarkes Court Bay Marina, to load some water, and had a lovely "farewell" dinner, impromptu, at Whisper Cove Marina, kindly invited to join the table of Olga and Don on Richard Cory.
We had some hopes to make it to St. Lucia or even to Martinique, but there was a lot of sea and the wind was just not on the right quarter, so we motorsailed to Sandy Island, opposite Hillsborough on Carriacou for the night. The sunset photo was taken on Friday night at Sandy Island. We headed off early on Saturday the 3rd, and continued to get beat up so pretty much immediately decided to head for Bequia to wait out the spell of high winds and seas.
JP and Susan decided to take advantage of the (reverse) weather window to get their PADI certification from Dive Bequia; they started on the written materials on Monday night and had their first course and dive yesterday. They are back today for more learning and a second dive, then for the final session tomorrow, Thursday. So far, they are doing very well and loving it.
It is EXTREMELY rolly here; today is the worst so far. I vividly remember that when we chartered in the Grenadines many moons ago, we had our first experience with rolling at anchor, in Friendship Bay, which is on the windward side of Bequia. Admiralty is in theory leeward, but I guess there is so much swell out there that there is no avoiding the roll even in a relatively protected spot. Granted, we are not way inside - many boats there, charter and otherwise - but it is still a bit annoying to have things sliding on the stove. Oh well...I managed Tortilla Española and some veal bacon that I had found at Whisper Cove Marina.
Bequia remains a very pretty and convenient place to hang out; lots of restaurants, good shopping, laundry, ice, trash pick up, water and diesel all directly to the boat...what's not to love?
We are thinking that we will set out for the full 100nm passage to Martinique on Sunday, to arrive on Monday the 12th, so we will have a couple of days to prepare for being away from her for three weeks. Both wind and sea are supposed to cooperate...