We stayed almost two weeks in Martinique so that we could meet up with Jon’s friend, Matt, when he flew in for a business trip. While we were there we tried to improve our French and put it to the test when we went to see Jurassic World in the theater; dubbed and with no subtitles. We also entertained ourselves perusing the bookstore’s DVD selection full of thought-provoking translations of popular movie titles.

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In St. Pierre we spent some time with our newest cruising friends on Bueller. They were in the Bahamas at the same time we were, but we didn’t meet until they anchored next to us in Dominica. We snorkeled around the anchorage in search of the twelve ships that sunk when Mount Pelée erupted in 1902, but instead of finding them Jon found and speared our first lionfish.

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Racing Bueller to Martinique
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The cutest beer glass I ever did see.

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And the strangest art work.
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Lionfish are invasive and people are encouraged to kill them, so don’t be too dismayed by how happy Jon looks to have speared this little one.
We also accidentally caught this tiny squid that jumped on board.
and this little fish in the dinghy.

At our next anchorage in Fort de France we were kind of surprised at how much activity and industry there is on the comparatively small island. We wandered the pedestrian-friendly streets in downtown Fort de France, exploring the many Chinatown style shops, until we could hardly take it anymore. We ate French bread, pastries, cheeses, and wine to the point of making ourselves sick. We visited our third Caribbean Botanic Garden, Jardin de Balata, which features a walk through the rainforest canopy via a bridge suspended in the mahogany trees.

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For reasons I do not yet understand, yellow plaid is a big thing in the French Islands. It is everywhere.

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A casual round of frisbee tossing quickly becomes keep-away from the children in La Savanne park.

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Canopy walk in Jardin de Balata

We ran out of water and had to survive a couple of days on jugs from the grocery store until we were able to sail to another anchorage. We had planned to sail down to Cul-de-Sac du Marin, but the wind was blowing like crazy. It seemed ridiculous to be traveling so far mainly just to fill up on water and then come back, but we had both searched the guidebook prior to leaving for any mention of water anywhere near us and found nothing.While we were considering this predicament for the twentieth time we were sailing past Grand Anse. I looked in the guidebook and low and behold, it mentioned that water is available at the town dock. We made an immediate u-turn and spent the evening there, then filled every available container in the morning before sailing back to Fort de France.

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We met up with Matt for dinner one night when he was free and then took him for a short sail around the bay the next morning. The short sail ended up being a little longer than anticipated when the roller furling line tangled and Jon had to take the whole thing apart before we could haul the jib back in. We dropped Matt off at his hotel dock, regretting that we couldn’t spend the rest of the day there but knowing that we had to take the best opportunity for good weather to make our way to Grenada. Our friends David and Rachel will be there on July 10th. They’re staying with us on the boat so we need to be sure we’re there on time!

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