Getting used to not being on watch!

We arrived in Rodney Bay Marina ,St Lucia after a fast overnight sail from Barbados It was noisy , hot and far from idyllic – but we cleaned and reprovisioned the boat , hopefully sorted the charging and batteries for the final time, went through the mind blowingly boring immigration procedure and picked up Peter Slimming all in 36 hours of frantic activity before gratefully moving out into the Bay and anchoring off a palm fringed beach . This was the first hint of the Carribean we had come so far to find. Peter has just over a week and we decided to pay a flying visit to Martinique – 25 miles to the North – before returning to the spectacular south coast of St Lucia for his final few days so it will be a bit of a rapid introduction . What is good is that we have a temporary reprieve from the rowdy weather with light winds forecast for the week

Many of you know that Peter shares a love of singing with us and on the way to Martinique we introduced him to Uffa Fox singing sea shanties . It is still part of France , so perhaps it was less than totally “de rigeur” to come sweeping in to the great natural harbour of Marin singing Hearts of Oak and Rule Brittannia at the tops of our voices. Their must be 200 boats anchored off , yet the Douanes choice us to search so maybe the two events were not unnconnected. It all passed off very amicably – basically faced with a boat with so much gear on that we are floating 6″ lower than normal – they didnt feel up to the task and only gave us a very cursory inspection .

Martinique is very civilised and attractive and we are thinking about exploring the east coast which ,uniquely for the Antilles has a coral reef sheltering various protected anchorages . The Doyle guides say dont go there so we are a bit nervous but the charts make it look feasible in the current relatively quiet weather. Both of us are still quite tired and wake up 3 hourly when it is “our “watch even though we are safely at anchor., so it may take a while for us to slow down to a proper Caribbean lifestyle , although we have already adopted a policy of getting places by midday in order to have the awning up and a midday snooze when the sun is at its hottest.

So , greetings from the French Carribean from all on Festina.

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