Baking & Sailing to Martinique

27-07-16

Spending another day in beautiful Sugar Loaf Bay saw Chris on the beach with the kids whilst I became industrious, spending a fairly productive morning on the boat. First up was learning to drive the dinghy, I dropped everyone at the beach and had a bit of a spin round the anchorage. Then I wanted to figure out how to get into the dinghy from the water – without looking too much like a beached whale or needing help – trickier than it looks!!

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Sugar Loaf Bay

Once I’d worked that out,  I turned my hand to baking. Jam tarts were an easy win from the previous night’s left over pastry, (with the awesome Pampered Chef dobber not previously used since its purchase years ago – but one of those things you know will be useful one day). Next up – biscuits, which worked well up to a point . Unfortunately I was using a (particularly fab) US cookbook – The Boat Galley Cookbook – and the beautiful biscuits didn’t turn out quite how I was expecting. Biscuits had become a little lost in translation – I had actually made very thin scones!

Sealing my domestic goddess status by making the flatbread dough for lunch, so we then enjoyed tuna mayo sandwiches below decks during a heavy rain shower.

A decision to sort our night sailing routine out – after the lessons of the shake out sail – saw us leaving Les Saintes by 5pm. With better admin we figured this time we’d crack it with a comfortable crossing. What should have been an easy sail with 15 kts gusting 18, was another 30-38 kts in heavy seas. Chris bore the brunt of this helming for 6 hours straight with me sleeping on deck to assist as required.

As morning broke the seas calmed and we hit the doldrums with no wind and a boat that didn’t have enough way to steer. The rough passage was brightened by the amazing sight of a pod of about 100 dolphins surrounding the boat as we sat wallowing, kids were on deck by then and it was a wonderful display.

Our arrival in Grand Anse d’Arlets, Martinique was marred by an anchor malfunction – the windlass was broken. Too tired to face a manual drop in such a crowded anchorage we headed to a buoy, whilst Chris sorted the problem with the electrics. Pleased to say he fixed it & we anchored a few hundred meters off shore in a crystal clear bay with a few turtles swimming around.

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Grand Anse d’Arlets

A lazy day saw bit of snorkelling & Will stung on his face, by what we think was a jelly fish but no one saw it. With no vinegar on board (on shopping list now) the ‘After Bite’ worked well and he eventually stopped screaming.

We arrived in town too late to check in, but had a lovely dinner at the Bijoul bar on the beach, of local smoked chicken and watched the local fishermen casting their the nets by the shore.

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Fishermen just off the beach
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