Martinique – Goodbyes & Provisioning

20180208_125438After having spent very windy but beautiful days with Karin around Anse d’Arlet, Anse Mitan and Fort de France we had to say goodbye to her.

She took her flight back home and we headed back to Le Marin where we had an appointment with a technician for the motor service at 8 o’clock the following day. The original plan was to stop in Grand Anse d’Arlet and meet YUANA at least for a few hours as they where heading to Dominica early the next morning. But the wind had other plans. In Grande Anse d’Arlet it blew with 30 knots and it was packed with boats. This is one aspect of living on a sailboat which is not always easy to deal with. You can make plans but mother nature always has the last word… We would have loved to see YUANA one last time but it was just not meant to happen. We will hopefully see them back in Switzerland sometime in the future.

Fortunately not all our cruising friends had gone, so we could catch up with FALKOR, KISU, JAJAPAMI and MOJITO and also met new boats like OLENA, who crossed the Atlantic in January with Jimmy Cornell’s last Odyssey. OLENA is a Swiss family with three kids and they got along very well with Jaël and Amina. So we spent many pleasant hours on the beach or on the boats with sundowners and dinners including Birthday party on the beach from Emma and Kai from FALKOR and Cyliane from OLENA.

As Markus and Gaby from KISU were already making fun of our home grown mussel farm and we had to wait anyway for our spinnaker pole to be delivered by middle of March we decided to haul Mirabella out in Saint Lucia for a new antifouling. So we left Martinique for Mirabella’s «beauty week» and had to finally say goodbye to our dear cruising friends from KISU, FALKOR and JAJAPAMI as well.

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In Saint Lucia everything was perfectly organised and the people on the ship yard were very friendly. It was a strange feeling to sleep on the boat on the dry without any sound or movement of water.

Only the long ladder was a bit of a challenge for us with Amina but everything went well and thanks to André`s persistance within a week everything was done and Mirabella looked really good. Luckily the marina had a pool.

The kids loved it and Jaël made great progress in swimming. After that week she started to swim in the sea without floaties and swam around Mirabella for the first time. She was very proud of it and we were very proud of her.

On the ship yard in Saint Lucia we also met Mauro from Italy who was looking for a boat to Panama or the Pacific. He had just crossed the Atlantic from the Cap Verde Islands. So he joined us for the way back to Martinique. The passage from Saint Lucia to Martinique was completely different than the first time end of January. We had absolutely no wind and had to motor…. a completely new experience in the Caribbean for us. Jaël enjoyed the presence of Mauro. As he grew up in Bozen and studied one year in Germany he can speak German as well. So he passed the kids test as well and we arranged with him to meet in about two weeks in Le Marin, to join us for the crossing of the Caribbean Sea. Before we wanted to have some family time and do also some provisioning in Fort de France.

We were happy to see FALKOR again in Grand Anse d’Arlet and also later on in Anse Mitan. But then in Anse Mitan it was really the final goodbye. FALKOR stays another season in the Caribbean so we unfortunately won’t meet again. We will definitely miss our cruising friends from the Odyssey… but that is just the way it is… at least we can follow their blogs and stay in contact and share experiences that way.

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After beautiful days in Grand Anse d’Arlet and Anse Mitan which we spent with snorkelling and swimming we moved to Marina z’Apricot. Thanks to Laure from OLENA we had an excellent contact for renting a car and so we did. The plan was to optimize our storage and also use spare room under the beds in order to have additional room for those things we would not find in the Pacific at reasonable prices.

On André’s Birthday we spent a beautiful day at the Saut du Gendarme with a very refreshing bath in the waterfall followed by a picknick.

In the afternoon there was even enough time to try out two Kayak at the local swimming pool. They had a cooperation with Decathlon so we could really try the kayaks out before buying them. So after the days in Marina z’Apricot Mirabella had really gained some overweight…. two kayaks and lots of food, beer and wine. Somehow we managed to store everything.
After a peaceful night in Anse Chaudière we sailed back to Le Marin middle of March to get our long awaited spinaker pole. And finally it was really there. Our new crew member Mauro joined us and later on Audrey from France as well. We met Audrey already on our first stop in Le Marin end of January. Originally Audrey and her friend Val were interested to join us to Colombia but because of the delay with the spinnaker pole we had to change our plans. As Val had an appointment in Colombia she decided to fly to Colombia. We will probably meet her in San Blas Islands. But Audrey was still interested to join us on passage to Panama and also would be interested to cross the Pacific.20180305_111543
So at last everything got into place somehow in the right way. Mirabella is in awesome shape, we are stocked up with food and also Jaël and Amina have grown in the last 6 months… Jaël has learned how to swim and Amina has learned to use the toilet and wears nappies during the night only… Pacific here we come! But first we will cross the Caribbean sea with a stop over in Bonaire.

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