Having said our goodbyes to our friends on the WARC, we had to head on to Martinique to complete lots of jobs on the boat. There are things we want, and things we need, and being the Caribbean it never comes easy - particularly when you don’t speak French on a French island.
However, the easiest thing in Martinique, and something I’d love every country here to aspire to - or just do, is the customs and immigration clearing in process. I walked three boats down from our berth at the Le Marin marina to the fuel dock, who had inside the office a computer set up for clearance. A simple four minutes and boom - we had cleared in. This is brilliant!!
We wanted an extra freezer for our leg across the Pacific, and I set about trying to get that happening, having found an electrics guy that usefully spoke Spanish as well as French. We also needed work done on some of the electronics and a number of items from the chandlers. Meanwhile Matt got the sails to the sail maker where they were inspected and it was decided what needed new stitching and what needed replacing and so on. We also needed work on the rig - the fixes in Ascension had served us very well, but it was time for an overhaul. All this took a lot of to-ing and fro-ing over a few days.
Meanwhile in this time, Aurora Polaris, Smoke and Roses, and Mad Monkey all came in to pick up supplies before heading homeward bound to Norway, Florida, and UK, so we got to have our final goodbyes which was a really sad moment. BUT, these are friends for life and I know I’ll see them again!
When I had done all I could, I headed off to do some exploring (read hiking) leaving Matt happily on his boat getting more work done. As it transpired, i wasn’t long before I got a call - could I meet him at the top of the island and help him get the boat to Antigua, where he was being sent by the rigger to get some vital parts not available in Martinique.
Port de Saint Pierre (below) was the meeting point; a place once buried by the local volcano, Mt Pelee, with 30,000 dead and only one survivor in the town - a prisoner, and one that was out of town - the local cobbler! It was fun to wander the town and see what had once been, plus a place we remember for a great meal before heading onward to Guadeloupe and Antigua.