Sunday, April 8, 2012

Santa Anne et Marin

February 20th and 21st

We left the capital of Martinique at 6 o' clock in the morning, with the intentions of sailing to St. Lucia. But the wind shifted and the ocean was getting weird, so the captain asked and then decided to stop in Ste. Anne, a little and colorful town in the south of the island. We got there by 9:30 am. Then we put the dinghy down, took a swim. This anchorage is very comfortable and the water is clear.

Then we went to town for lunch. We wonder around a little bit, until we found a patisserie and café called L’Épi Soleil. This place had everything! Grill, salads, sandwich, pastries, paninies, fresh fruit juices, café au lait... it's located in the water front and the waitress are very friendly. We ate way too much.

And guess what! Carnival, we couldn't run away from it. So after a Punch Coco nap we went back to town, just in time for the parade. Thankfully this is a small village.

There were a lot of people on the street and we were incredibly hungry again. We did the food rounds until we saw a big French-west Indian guy grilling chicken, ribs and fish. That place was the winner.

Next morning, after our big pastry breakfast, we went to Marin, a big anchorage with hundreds of boats. We went on shore, but once again because of the carnival every business was closed after noon. So we wondered around for a while and came back home to have a nice dinner and a well rested night in the calmest bay, so far. It felt like being on a slip in a marina.


Fort de France

Fort de France
February 18th. It was 3:45 in the morning when the anchor woke us up with a noise that sounded like we were dragging. Luckily, it was just the chain pulling out of the locker when the tide changed and the wind picked up, because the night before we were so tired that we didn't put the snubber on (that I called the snugger). After that incident it was hard to fall back sleep, but for some reason (maybe the rocking bed) when the alarm clock rang at 6:30 we were fast slept.

The early start was to go just 14 miles away, from St. Pierre to Fort de France. We got there at 9:30, anchored, put the snugger on and got ready to go on shore. Jim and I were looking forward to get some French pastries, in the way there we were studding with the dictionary how to ask directions to get to a “pâtisserie, changer l'argent et combien ça coûte?” Come on, this is why I've been studding French! I was very excited about Martinique, but entering the bay was a big shock compare to other islands because this is a big city.

Well, we finally got in the dinghy and went to land, they have a very nice water front with a dock just for dinghies. It wasn't hard to find a place to buy Euros, right in front street a big sight in white and blue advertise the service, and while we waited on line I talked to some people to find a place to eat. They recommended us the “Centre Commerciale” the big mall. A few minutes later we were savoring a delicious “pannini, une tarte au pomme, des cappuccino and a nice ambiance”. The hard thing was walking down the boulevard, because we happened to get there the day the carnival started. There were vendors all over the place selling costumes, people playing drums, buying food and getting ready for the celebration of “carnaval de la pêche”.

Our second goal, was to buy fresh produce in the farmers market. In the way there we stopped at Canal Levassor; where a fisherman was selling his catch. He was wearing a T-shirt of “Che Guevara”with a Cuban flag. I immediately asked him about it, he said a friend brought it from Cuba, and he express on his loco-motion talking his wish to visit it one day. “Do you want to buy some fish?” His boat was full of ballyhoo. Jim said: that's what we use for bait in Beaufort.

I talk to all the vendors and enjoyed the similitude of the fruits of this island and Cuban's. Smells and flavors I haven't tried in more than a year.

We went back to the boat to leave the grocery bags and went back to town to watch the parade and walk in a more quiet place as all the business were closing down.

Sunday 19th Since most of the business are closed the best we could do was... Carnival! The food kiosks were open and we had the best fruit smoothy, and a creole dish of rice, lentils and “fricasse de mouton” (cheep in souse). Once again I talked to everybody a could with my “petit po française” or frenchglish. When the big parade stared we went to check it out, it was very interesting and for sure pictures talk better than words.

Parade de Fame en bleu

Parade de Transvestitism

Hula-hu girls

The noiy cars
One hour later we were back to Salty Shore, but not even then we could run away from the loud music, it seemed even louder! Well, it was time to go. Two days of carnival was enough.

Anechy Notes