Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Ten Day Gap

When Mark and I arrived in Martinique after our long and exhausting sail over from St. Martin, Mark asked “Now, what are we going to do for ten days?” Since we played it safe and the weather agreed with us to get to our destination well in time before my cousin Griet and her family arrived, we all of a sudden “faced” an unplanned gap of ten days. The thought of being able to “relax” for over a week was exciting and daunting at the same time! When was the last time we didn’t have a deadline or a full day of events, work and jobs planned out?

First, we had to rest. Which we did the day after our arrival. Luckily, we picked up wireless internet, so that covered the following days, dealing with the business, some writing and our social network. We learned that three hours before we arrived in Grand Anse d’Arlet, our good cruising friends from SV Alianna and SV Imagine had just left to Rodney Bay, St. Lucia and that a whole bunch of friends had spontaneously congregated there, about five hours south of us. So close, but so far away. My excitement rose to see them again and to go on a mini adventure across another part of ocean. The problem was the weather, our tiredness and convincing Mark that this was a good idea when we finally had some peace…

Four days of heavy winds went by, we did a little bit here and there, snorkeled with sea turtles and then, about a week after leaving the lagoon in St. Martin, we left our safe, quiet and comfortable haven in Martinique already again. We truly can’t sit still… The plan: hop over to St. Lucia for two days, not go to shore, not check into the country, just spend some time with our friends on boats and return to Martinique a couple of days later. The passage across was close on the nose again, but pleasant and fast. We managed to sail all the way into Rodney Bay and were welcomed with waves and shouts of our friends, who recognized Irie after realizing our funny baggy wrinkles were absent. That’s another project, one day.

Sim and Rosie dinghied over to say hi. We hadn’t seen them since the wedding and had a lot to catch up on. Soon, it was 3pm and time for a late lunch and customer support. An hour later, our friends Bob, Christine and Angie came over for a chat and some information about our new product and then we were expected on SV Alianna for a cordial evening of drinks and food, including our other friends Sam and Jon. The word of our presence in the bay had gotten out and the next morning started with a VHF call to provide information about The Wirie and hours of testing something about our new product for Mark. Because of all this activity, I decided it was better and more appropriate to go to shore and check into (and out of at the same time) St. Lucia, so we didn’t have to worry about anything or feel uncomfortable with being there.

By mid-morning, Sim came over to help Mark with an engine issue and at the same time, three (other) WirieAP customers showed up, creating a very busy morning for the Irie crew. We assembled a few upgrade kits (not really expecting to get into the whole business already), Mark and Sim managed to fix the engine part and the rest of the afternoon was spent doing business and boat work. In the evening, our group of friends gathered ashore for the Friday Jump-up in Gros Ilet. We walked over there from the marina and indulged in affordable and tasty food, soaking up the local atmosphere.

The weather wasn’t cooperating for us to return to Martinique quite yet, so we spent another two – quieter- days in Rodney Bay, before saying our final goodbyes to Imagine and Alianna. We are hoping to see them again in Grenada at some point, when our paths cross. Of course, we enjoyed each other’s company, but for us, it was time to get back “on track”. Another close hauled sail (where is that summer SE wind when you need it?) north lead us to Martinique’s boating capital Le Marin for more shopping and a three hour sail, just under the jib, brought us back to our beloved Grand Anse d’Arlet. When the family arrives in Fort-de-France, we are ready for a different kind of adventure!

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