February 27th Rodney Bay Marina Saint Lucia
Our last day in the marina and Robbie and Nuts did the last of the polishing while I went into the mall to get a haircut and a few groceries. After lunch I went to the customs and immigrations offices to clear out of Saint Lucia. It was quite a quick process although I had to complete 3 clearances including a Port clearance, at a charge of $120 EC. I believe this was as it was a Saturday, Mark and Jennifer did not get charged these fees.
February 28th Martinique is known as the island of flowers. It is French and is one of the most civilised Caribbean islands. We departed Rodney Bay at 6.30am for the passage to Martinique. The Caribbean Islands are nearly all different countries, and Martinique is French. It took us 6 hours and it was really roly and rough in the channel between the two countries. We were thrilled to arrive in Fort De France Bay and to catch up with Starlet again. We anchored in Anse Mitan, a small bay opposite the main Port of Fort De France.
Jennifer came over in the afternoon while Mark was working on one of his projects. Robbie went over in Starlets tender to collect Mark and called us on the VHF saying Mark is not on the boat. He could not find him anywhere. Turns out the thing he was drilling flipped out and into the water, so he had to put his diving gear on to retrieve it, which he did. We then had an enjoyable evening on Southern Star with nibbles, a few drinks and of course another 500 challenge. After eating so many nibbles we didn’t want dinner.
We headed around to the marina in Pointe De Bout in the duck, to complete our check in procedures. Mark and Jennifer had already told us how easy it is, and it was very simple. I just entered our boat and passport details into the form, printed it out, signed it, the marina guy stamped and signed it and returned it to me and that was it. Took all of about 10 minutes.
We headed back to the boat and prepared to leave to go and anchor across the bay in Fort De France, so we can go and collect our visitors from Australia, Paul and Maree from the airport this afternoon.
Once we checked the anchor was well set we headed into town to get a new sim card. Our Digicel sim we brought in Barbados, that they told us would work right through the Caribbean, is not compatible with Martinique unfortunately. So another new sim and 2 Gb of data. It took about an hour to get it sorted and working but finally we had internet again. By this time it was 1.30pm and we had to be at the airport to meet Paul and Maree at 2.30pm. We tried to find a taxi and couldn’t and finally a taxi bus told us to take a “Ducos” about an 18 seater minibus. The driver didn’t speak English but enough that he knew we wanted to go to the airport. The trouble is, that they don’t leave until the bus is full. At 1 minute to 2:00pm we finally left. It was a 20 minute drive and he dropped us at the roundabout near the airport and we walked the short distance to the terminal. We were starving hungry by this time so we grabbed a Burger King Burger and chips and wolfed it down just before Paul and Maree arrived.
March 1st Well after the late night shenanigans last night no one was very energetic this morning. It was quite a slow start to the morning. The anchorage was very calm until the ferries start their constant runs in and out continuously. We got organised and headed into town for lunch, and Mark and Jennifer were going to follow us in. Mark is trying to sort parts for his water maker which was leaking, and he has been able to do a temporary fix but needs the parts.
We wondered through town and had a look in a couple of shops, we found the markets which had really nice produce but we didn’t buy anything as we didn’t want to lug it around with us. It was quite busy and we weren’t able to find Mark and Jennifer and we hadn’t brought the phone with us so we found a nice restaurant on the main waterfront street and as it turns out, it was the one Mark and Jennifer ate at last night. We all shared the tapa’s plate each, it was all seafood and plenty for two people and it was really nice.
We headed back to the boat all feeling quite weary and had a Nana Nap. Quiet night we cooked Lamb chops on the Bar-B-Q with salad and smashed potatoes. White day no alcohol! The boys are trying really hard to catch one of the big Tarpin fish that are darting around in the underwater lights. They are huge, they have hooked a couple but they are so strong they just bend the fish hooks. Robbie and Paul are having a lot of fun trying though!