18 March 2017
The French Baker delivers fresh-baked goods to the Barra lagoon and marina by panga. It is one of the highlights of this area. Unfortunately, (for us) he is wanting to retire. His business is for sale. I am afraid Barra without the French Baker would be like La Cruz without Philo. It just wouldn't be the same.
French Baker, Part One – “Does Anybody Know What Day It Is?”
March 8, 2016
A call comes over the radio. “French Baker, French Baker. Are you on twenty-two?”
“The French Baker is off on Wednesdays. The next day he comes is Thursday.” A woman replies, but her connection is scratchy.
“What?” The man asks.
“The French Baker is off on Wednesday. He will be here on Thursday.”
“Oh, okay.” A long pause. “What day is it? Is this Tuesday?”
“Today is Wednesday.” She answers, laughing.
“Got it. Today is Wednesday. The French Baker will be here tomorrow, Thursday. Sorry. I’ve only been cruising for four months. I don’t know where I am or what day it is.”
“That’s okay.” She says with a smile in her voice. She, and everyone else who is listening, completely understands.
French Baker, Part Two – The Addiction
March 12, 2017
It is early morning. Jay and I are sitting in the cockpit, sipping our tea and coffee. A voice comes over the radio.
“French Baker entering the marina.” The man speaks with an authentic French Accent. I pick up the radio.
“French Baker, French Baker, Cadenza.”
“Yes, Cadenza.” He answers.
“Could you please come to D-Delta dock when you have a moment.”
“Can I save you something?”
“Yes, please. One chocolate croissant, one almond croissant, and one baguette.” He repeats my order. This produces a flurry of activity and suddenly several boats, both in the marina and in the lagoon, are calling him to place their order, fearful he will run out of goodies.
We watch as he goes to G dock, then B dock, then C dock. We naturally think D dock will be next, but no. He goes back to G dock. Jay eyes him anxiously, awaiting his breakfast. “He’ll come here next.” I say
A few minutes later, Jay stands up. “Where is he going? He is leaving the marina.”
“He is probably going to one of those big power boats.” I assure him. “He has our order. He will come back.”
Jay’s shoulders slump as he sits back down. “It’s like crack.”
The French Baker arrives on D dock. His panga is filled with fresh pastries, breads, pies, and quiche.
“Hello, lady.” Every morning, this is how he greets me. His inflection is exactly the same. English words, spoken with a French accent, sound like music. Even two words can sound lyrical.
He puts the two croissants in a brown paper bag and with a pair of long, silver tongs, he hands me the baguette. It is soft to the touch. As I walk back to Cadenza, I lift it up to my nose and inhale. If left alone, I would eat the entire loaf in one sitting. I hand Jay his croissant. It is rectangularly-shaped with just enough chocolate to leave you wanting for more. Today, I decided to order the almond croissant. It is in the traditional shape of a croissant and covered with slivered almonds. I take a bite. “Oh! There is almond cream in the middle.” I say, surprised. “Oh, my. It is so sweet and buttery.” The cream oozes. I lick my lips. I lick my fingers. I look at Jay. “We have to leave here.”