Chuck finnaly arrived after an almost 2 hour trip from the airport. Small Island, large trffic jam.
Because we have many miles to travel and lots of places to visit on the way, we left early the next morning for Martinique. We ended up motoring the entire 30 mile distance. Seems like the big low pressure system up north is sucking all the wind from down here.
We anchored off of Fort De France and dinghied into town to clear customs. At least the French have something right. A small computer terminal in a ships store that you can fill in the boxes online, print it out and the lady behind the counter signs it and you are in. DONE!
Dinner in a side walk café and back to the boat.
Fort De France is the bigest city in the Islands, very modern, very large and all the trappings of a metropoliton city.
On Saturday we got up early and took the bus to St Perie to visit a Rhum distillery. The distillery is located on the side of the Mt. Pelee valcano which last blew up in 1902, killing over 29,000 peopel. The distilery was also distroyed but was later rebuilt. A very interesting walkng tour where they still use steam power to run the plant. After several tastings of the various rhums (needed to decide which ones to buy) we walked the 2 miles down the hill, backpacks full of rum bottles. We were able to find the bus back to Fort de France after questioning several people, none of which could speak English, or as we could speak no french. Arriving back in the city we discovered that they lock the place up after 1 on Saturday. Everything was closed except the supermarket where we stopped to load up on cheap french cheese and wine.
Sunday morning it was up early again to head to Dominica, a 50 mile distance. We were able to sail 30 miles of it.
I have this nasty habit of getting up at 5 am, which is around 4 your time (may have something to do with my bedtime)... anyhow I was expecting my brother Charlie to arrive today the start of his two week adventure with me. I logged onto the internet to check on his flight status only to find that his flight was already delayed 205 minutes. That would put him in Atlanta about 2 hours AFTER his flight left for St Lucia. Sounds like two weeks ago with Alexa.
PR crew beware....
Not that I need a gift of time, but it is hard to believe how difficult it is to get things done here. So I thought today would be a good time to do some engine maintenance since I will be traveling a lot on the next few weeks.
For the 4th time this trip, I changed all the filters (oil and fuel) oil, diapers under the engine and bilge, check all fluid levels, lube drive shaft etc, etc...
Dispose of said materials.... an all day project.
Ran into town for awhile to replace some lost (yes again) fishing gear and tried to find a few cans of refried beans (no luck on the beans BTW).
As I sit in the cockpit and type this, the roll in the bay is so bad I am having trouble keeping my drink from sliding back and forth and spilling. It appears the wind, which is very light today, is from the South and the swell is from the west, makes for a most uncomfitable setting.
So goes another day, I know... The hell here never ends.
Hopefully Chuck is enjoying his evening in Atlanta and will be here tomorrow. I plan on leaving for Martinique on Friday.
Note to self: Never stand at the bottom of the companionway and toss a rotten tomato overboard (esp. if it's the side where the dinghy is tied up!).
Oh... some new pics in the gallery
I left Bequia this morning at 6:30 for the start of the long trek home.
For the first time, there was no wind, nothing, flat as* calm, less than 5 knots. Never seen it like that here. I had to motored the first 4 hours. The wind finally picked up about half way up St. Vincent. After the wind filled in I was able to sail the last 30 miles or so. In between St Vincent and St. Lucia I had a reefed main and a full genoa up and I doing speeds of over 9 knots, swells and waves to 6-8 feet. Must have had a little current there, but it usually sets to the west and not to the north.
But what a ride.
I am currently tied to a mooring in Soufriere Bay. I have a few days to kill before I need to be in Rodney Bay and this looked like a good place to crash.
The pictures I take could never do it justice so GOOGLE: The Pitons of St Lucia. I am moored in the shadow of these things...... nice view!