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Daddy do we have any bananas?

January 28th, 2009 · No Comments

Well we had a Christmas visitor, he arrived just after we had tidied and cleaned Giselle from our Atlantic crossing and our signing in to Martinique. He was tall, no white beard in fact clean shaven and he brought lots of news and a big bag with presents for Christmas day. A more than welcome sight to see Andrew, coming through the baggage lounge at the airport.

As we had hired a car to pick him from the airport, we decided to have a round the island by car trip. Martinique grows lots of pineapples, bananas and sugar cane all of which you could see growing by the road side.

First stop was for a walk in the rainforest, quite incredible, the green, the trees and the birds, we recorded one bird song, it sounded like someone practising a whist, makes me smile every time I hear it. (link loads a video – suggest right click and open in new tab) David attempted a 360 degree panoramic view also good for a smile. By the time we had got to St Pierre, Andrew had fallen asleep combination of heat and tiredness from preparing to come out. St Pierre, in the northern end of the island was at one time the capital of Martinique. However May 8th 1902, there was a sudden eruption of Mont Pelee and 28,000 people died all in a few seconds from the heat and ash, only one survived, a prisoner who because of the thick cell walls was sheltered from the heat. He went on to become an exhibit in a circus!

Back on board again and now off to St. Annes, just a couple of miles from Marin. Ashore there we bought some fish part of a Thornback Ray, which when we ate the following day was quite excellent. Being anchored at St Annes meant that we could have a swim off the boat in aqua blue clear water. It’s a hard life here in the Caribbean.

We headed off to St Lucia, the next island down the chain, into Rodney Bay, where the guy on the marina radio rolls his r’s. Rodney bay marina There’s a large bay where you can anchor, or park in the marina up the creek. Anchor for us. A little shopping, a few cocktails in the beach bar, and fireworks at night In the morning we watched the St Lucian traditional sailing boats who were out for some fun.

Long sail down to Bequia, now have I said that its hot and sunny and constant winds, so the seventy four point one mile trip was fast, with full main and genoa, sailing in all her glory we were met by a dinghy with a photographer and a large camera, he whizzed along taking shots from all angles. Of course later he came by with the proofs and a completed photo.

Bequia is very pretty island, a long gut here with plenty of places to anchor, we found a spot as it happened very close to friends who we met in Puerto Calero, Lanzarote. Ashore and some food shopping for Christmas dinner, no turkey, but lots of other interesting things, the vegetable market with the Rasta salesmanship encouraged us to buy something from each vendor, you have to be firm! The sales patter, fruit and vegetables were however very good. “Remember Andy, look after your mother, and David look after the boss!” All good fun.

Now I said there was plenty of space, even The World anchored here!

This is the cruise ship that you can buy your cabin, and meet up with the ship wherever you please. Christmas eve and a meal ashore, bbq meat and fish, buffet dishes to try, sweets to break any diet for, steel band playing in the background, (link loads a sound track – again suggest right click and open in new tab) cocktails and a sand dance floor. All we need now is Santa. Link to steel band music will follow.

After the presents, a walk ashore to the other side of the island and a quick swim for Andrew and David in the atlantic waves, then back on board ready for moving next day to St Lucia. It was just dark as we arrived at Soufrieres, but we radioed ahead and had a local guide us to an empty mooring buoy, no anchoring here, it’s a national park site.

In the morning we moved to Bat Cave an area where there is lots of snorkelling right off your boat. Of course we had the locals, selling their goods or services or both. At least that was what they were supposed to be doing. When I asked one fella, what was in his third basket along, he told me they were no good they were too ripe, so no sale there then, I did buy an avocado from him, it is the biggest I have ever seen and when we ate it probably one of the best too. We leave the boat and ashore bump into Dennis, he wants to sell his necklaces, he saves us a trip to a tourist office, telling us how to get to the waterfalls, and how far it would be to walk to the volcano. In fact all the things we could do by ourselves from Soufrieres. Diamond botanical gardens mineral baths and waterfall was our destination, there an amazing garden ginger plants, nutmeg trees, bananas, flowers and some wonderful hummingbirds. The waterfall was not the most amazing waterfall, but it was there.

Arriving back at the pontoons we bumped into Dennis again, he asked if we had found everything we wanted. Well we were looking for coconuts but none to be had in the supermarket or from the street sellers. Dennis, asked if we could wait a few minutes, off he went on his bicycle, and back in minutes cluching three coconuts and a cocoa pod. He hacked off the outer skin of the coconuts for us and showed us how to pick out the cocoa pods and suck off the flesh leaving the cocoa bean.

It was such a lovely day and there was good snorkelling right off the boat, so we got wet again. Suppertime, we had booked at Bennys for a traditional meal, part of the deal was that we would be collected and that a guard would be left on board so we didn’t have to worry about the boat. Seven on the dot, Benny junior arrives in his giant pirogue, with guard on board off we speed across the bay. Table on the balcony overlooking the bay,
“yes do you have some white wine?”
“no, but we have red, or a cocktail”
That was Bennys, a very relaxed atmosphere, the great main course was excellent. Now
“would we like a sweet?”
“Yes what do you have?” (We were learning)
This quiet little waitress now shouts across the restaurant
“Daddy do we have any bananas?”
Back to us “OK, we have bananas or ice cream”

From Soufrieres we sailed back to Marin, Martinique. A windward passage with spray flying over the deck and catching the helm, the good news is that it’s warm and you dry fairly quickly. That’s what we told Andrew anyway.

I think he was enjoying himself!! We passed Diamond rock and zigzagged into Marin.

All too soon it was our last day together which we spent driving up to Tartane, on the east side of the island.

Here the surf rolls onto the sandy beaches, we swam in a slightly more sheltered bay, lunched under the trees and took a short cut back to Marin. Andrew departed though the gates for his flight back in the evening.

Link to gallery

Tags: Atlantic Leg · Friends & Family