After eighteen days at sea, it was during the night that Heidi spotted the lights of Martinique. A few hours later we rounded the southern tip of the island and then set course for Le Marin and arrived shortly before sunrise.
I doubt we have ever seen so many boats at anchor. The bay is filled with vessels in all directions. Here there is everything from super-yacht to barely floating hulks. We found a space and, after over 2000 miles and one Atlantic crossing, dropped our anchor.
After tidying up and pumping up the dinghy we motored across to the marina and “cleared in” online using a computer terminal in the office. This is civilized! No police, no customs and no immigration. Martinique is part of France and therefore part of the EU. The currency is Euro, our European SIM card (and data flat rate) works and the language is French. All the comforts of home but T-shirt weather.
The second day we went shopping. The local supermarket has a car park out front and a dinghy pontoon at the back so you fill up your trolley and then cross load it in to the dinghy. Totally organised, totally stress free and fun. Once we got back with our two hundred Euros worth of shopping we created a spreadsheet that shows what we have stowed where. We are really getting organised.
On Saturday we took the dinghy across to the garage on the marina hammerhead. They sell petrol for the outboard, gas for the cooker and water at 2 cents a liter. You can tell that yachts are big business here and life is made easy for us cruisers.
Later we went across to the beach and watched a local sailing race with boats where half the crew sit out on outrigger poles to keep the sail vertical and three men paddle with the steering oar. We also drank the local Ti-Punch during a torrential downpour and listened to the drums playing on the beach. After Cape Verde the rain is taking some getting used to.
Le Marin isn’t a pretty town but a great place to arrive, do the admin stuff and prepare for more adventure.