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Monday, October 29, 2012

Never on Saturday Afternoon


Ok, there will still be more retrospectives on St. Lucia, and photos,  thanks to purchasing a new camera today as well as prior downloads to my Mac, taken in St. Lucia.

Still, another quick update on the here and now.

If you have the good fortune to arrive in lovely Martinique, do it on a Monday afternoon, or at least not on a weekend.

Ready to get all sorts of stuff done, we arrived in Martinique’s capital city, Fort De France, at about 1 pm on Saturday.  Bad move.  Saturday afternoon, all day Sunday, and often Monday morning, any time before 8:30 am or after 4:30 pm are not good times to get any business done here, as very little is open.  Surprising for a population near 100,000

By this Monday afternoon, we discovered Ft. Louis, one of the major attractions in the area was closed for construction.  The museum we waited until its opening at 1 pm to visit had signs outside in English, but little inside in English.  Ironically, the exhibit was about South American culture, mostly Venezuela, as many of Martinique’s cultural roots apparently hail from there.  It is much easier to get through a museum more quickly when you can only guess at the written descriptions.

We were also having a bit too swell-y of a time as the rollers are big enough the local yacht club told its members to remove their boats from their docks. 

We know because we asked about docking there as we were hoping for something a bit calmer.  We’re fine with the swells for the most part, though it made for yet another dinghy misadventure….

We crossed the bay to Anse Mitan, a nice little town where the swell was a tiny bit calmer.  We searched in vain for the several internet access points mentioned there in our guidebook.  They all belonged to businesses which apparently no longer exist; we encountered the same thing in nearby Trois Islet after much walking around on a broiling hot day asking for directions in my abysmal French.  This was similar phenomenon to what we experienced in Desolation Sound, British Columbia, Canada, click here for the “Ed’s Dead” blog about that.

When we returned to the dock where we locked our dinghy, we saw the cable but not the boat.  To our dismay, we quickly surmised the surf went backward to suck our dinghy beneath the dock.  Wayne pulled the cable, and out came our dinghy, full of water, the engine lid popped off, bobbing violently in the surf.  We dragged it through the waves up to the narrow strip of beach.  Wayne got the motor lid on, whilst the dinghy filled with more sand and water.

We got the dinghy back into the water, and, miraculously, Wayne got the finicky motor started, and we quickly hustled back to our boat, and tied up.  I bailed the water and sand out of the boat.  The dinghy motor is still leaky, but can be improved, fixed and is manageable.

We finished in time to catch the most spectacular simultaneous full moon moonrise and tangerine sunset I’ve ever seen. You’ll have to take my word for it, as both cameras were dead, and we determined unfixable. 

Today I bought a lower end but still overpriced waterproof camera (which I do not plan to put to the test as the other “waterproof” camera failed when I took it in the water) today and have little doubt we will see and capture many more beautiful sights well worth sharing.

We may have our challenges, but we have not lost our sense of humor or our sense of adventure….  Tomorrow we are renting a car, and doing a day trip of some of Martinique’s highlights in the Northern part of the island.

If I get reincarnated, I would like to return as a Trustifarian in the French territory of Martinique, which is almost the same thing.  The island is beautiful, a natural wonder. The weather fabulous. The culture vibrant.  The standard of living very good even with a huge trade imbalance, and over 20% unemployment (of those still officially looking for work).  No wonder the people seem in general much happier here than in St. Lucia.