And there we go, it is time to visit France and put up the Tricolore for the first time, since in the mediterannean it was not on our way and we didn’t have the time.
Shopping like God in France
We right away feel well and welcome in Fort de France, the anchorage is quite pretty, just in front of the beach and the fort and across the main town area, so there is everything from ship chandler, supermarket, fresh market, bakery and Wifi Pizza place serving Heineken and Lorraine.
Also the dinghy dock is excellent, it must be almost 100 meter long.
We enjoy the shopping, especially the cheese and sausage, but in general prices are quite ok and a bit lower than on the former English islands we just come from. As a result we go “power” shopping 😉
SHE SAN being litterally boarded
One time just by chance we come around the corner and want to sit down in “our Wifi bar” we can see that a ship comes extremely close to our She San, so we run and chase over to her with the dinghy. And indeed, there is a german crewed charter boat just attaching to her with 3 lines – and we cannot believe it! Apparently they dropped their anchor and thought it caught ours so before ripping ours out, they just attach their 15 ton ship to us,,,
St. Pierre in NW Martinique
Three days later we move up north to St. Pierre with the target of using the laudrette and going biking. The drying of the clothes works well in a slot of no rain, but during our bike ride we have to pause 3 times because it is just raining too hard to go on…
During the last break we find shelter in a garage bar, where all the men come together to drink rum – well, it is Good Friday and what else is there to do? We prefer the beer and taste for the first time the Lorraine, which is brewed in Martinique and also belongs to Heineken, we learn. Maybe on the way back down we get a chance to visit the brewery?
Traditional dance in the market hall
On saturday evening we pass by the market hall, where in the meantime a few carpets were rolled out and a few men and women started to make music and dance. It is really traditional and the mayor explains that this tradition comes from the earlierst roots of the people here. To me it does look quite similar to the Capoeria from Brazil, and for sure both have their roots in Africa.
Dominica in sight
We are persuaded that the rain also comes from the topography of the island in this region, so we head on to Dominica and find ourselves on a really rough ride between the islands. Because of all the water coming from all directions our autopilot catches water and breaks down – well, I am extremely happy that this didn’t happen during the passage across the atlantic!
In the Prince Ruppert Bay we are welcomed by Daniel of Edisson’s team but it doesn’t help us much, all moorings are occupied and the anchorage is quite full and when we find a place the anchor doesn’t hold… It takes us two hours in often heavy rain until the anchors holds and we have good place to sway.
On the track of the Pirates of the Caribbean
The next day we participate in the standard touristic programm, the indian river trip. We are rowed up the river and the further up we get, the smaller and more enclosed the slot through the forst becomes. It becomes clear why they have filmed the Pirates of the Caribean 2 in this setting and a skeleton still remains from then.
Back on the beach we find everyone celebrating Easter Monday, from bathing to drinking rum to playing dominos and musik.
Unfortunately we don’t feel like celebrating as the news on my dad’s state of health continously get worse.
Little by little we understand the situation and many tears flow out while quite a bit of rums flows in…that doesn’t really help but at least it smoothes a bit the pain.
Fort Shirley and the Cabrits
Nevertheless we visit the Cabrits and the Fort Shirley at the end of the bay
and experiment the lion fish at Sandy’s beach bar. We really do like it but we eat with a certain respect as we know how dangerous these animals are while alive.
Then we continoue on to Guadeloupe, another rough ride with regularly 26 knots shown on our wind meter that most probably doesnt show it all when we compare with others…Anyway with the 3rd and the 4th reef in both sails and the wind almost on the nose we still go 6 to 7 knots, so it is quite shaky …
We anchor close between marina and town with a “beautiful view” of the container harbour and the mountains, but these we anyway don’t see often through the rain and the clouds…
Togehter with the news from home the setting is perfect to be sad and become depressed. On Wednesday we understand that my father Hansl doesn’t want any more help and on Friday we receive the message that he has passed away.
On Sunday we visit the church in town and together with many others who commemorate somebody they love we also light a candle for my dad. We try to accept the idea that he now is close to us in a different way.
We know how happy he was to follow our sailing adventures and it was thanks to him that we got the idea in the first place. He was a fan of the Austrian sailor Wolfgang Hausner already in the 70’s and already at that time visited one of Hausner’s favorite dive places, the island Nosy Be in the northwest of Madagaskar. Then over many years we exchanged with him all the books on sailing adventures we could find.
Now we have to go on and make sure that we experience many interesting and fun stories and he will be with us closer than ever before.