We arrived in Martinique on January 4 this year, and spent about 2 weeks in the boatyard preparing AT for launch.
Upon first arriving in Martinique, we typically stay at an AirB&B for a few days until we can get AT organized enough to stay aboard her. This year was no exception. Some long hot working days. This year, as previous, Greg attended to the mechanical and more physical tasks, while I attended to cleaning and putting the inside back together. Washing everything down with vinegar and water to remove and prevent mildew. I even took all of the carpets out and washed them with soap and water while in the boat yard. They dry quickly in the sun and heat.
This year we brought canvas sealer from the states, I sprayed the outside of our winter canopy for the wheelhouse with it before we put it on. I also put some seam sealer on. And with the rains we have been having, no leaking! Last year, there was some leakage but this sealer took care of that!
While we still had a car rental, I found a fabric store online. The curtains in the aft cabin were pretty old and fragile, and ripping. So I got sunbrella fabric and our friends, Sue and Peter, also in the boatyard, had a sewing machine I could borrow. I spent one whole day cutting and basting them, and the next day, I sewed them, and put the curtain hooks on them for sliding into the track. I’m so proud of myself! With the broken English the saleslady spoke, and my broken French, I got enough material for more if needed.
While in the boatyard, we found a phone store and we bought a 40G SIM card this year and put it into our iPad. This gives us access to the internet! SWEET! It has worked extremely well, but we need to monitor our usage because we basically got it for our “work” access to email and the internet. It’s tempting to watch some Netflix with it!
So, the day that we got the SIM card, I thought I’d be nice to Toto and take him with us, since by that time we had been on the boat (in the boatyard) for about a week, and he hadn’t gotten off the boat! So that evening, as I was petting him and looking at his head, thinking it was dirty and he needed a bath, I found a tick!!!! I pretty much freaked because I HATE ticks! He hasn’t been on tick preventative since August because what he was on caused tremors, so I stopped using it. So, I pulled it out with a tweezers, thinking all was well, and cleaned the spot with alcohol. Four days later, on Wednesday, he didn’t wake up! He slept, and slept and slept! This was to be launch day, January 16. He was rousable, I picked him up and hand fed him, gave him water, and took him out to pee. I tried calling the vet I usually take him to (Dr. Maximin), but the phone number wouldn’t go through for some reason. That evening, I sent Dr. Maximin an email, and within 30 minutes he responded to bring him in the next day.
So the boat was launched that day, (it always amazes me how talented these boatyard guys are with these lifts!)
and we set the anchor in LeMarin bay, and the next day, took the dinghy in to LeMarin where I walked to Dr. Maximin with Toto. He took blood work and examined him. Apparently there is an epidemic of Ehrlichiosis (not lymes disease) in the area, caused by the bite of a brown tick. He has seen 15 cases so far! Luckily, treatment consists of 15 day course of antiobiotics. He gave him an injection of an antiobiotic and a steroid as well. And currently Toto is back to normal! Thank goodness!
This year, we purchased a new anchor, a Rocna, and it’s suppose to be the cream of the crop as far as anchors go. And we have not been disappointed! It seems to be bullet proof! We swam the anchor and saw how well it digs down into the sand! Yep, good choice this year!
In February, the locals hold yole skiff (traditional Martinique sailboat) races. One weekend it was a rainy one (boy don’t I know about racing in the rain-LOL). But the weekend before was beautiful and below are some photos of some of the races. The sails are quite colorful! It was interesting to see the races, being a racing sailor myself.
It was a beautiful full moon on the anchor as well. We were blessed to have some clear skies so we could see it. It was like daylight!
This past week when we left the Le Marin bay to go to St. Anne harbor, we took the time to do a day sail. We were able to sail with all 3 sails (main, jenny and staysail). Greg took the time to tweak each to get the best sail set (as determined by our fastest speed). He took notes and feel pretty confident now, on sail set. I took the time as well, and played with the auto helm. I even used it to tack. It’s a pretty sweet instrument! I can just set it and sit back and relax. I also used it when we were taking down the mainsail, it kept us in the wind much better than if I were steering myself!
This year, we also refitted the back canopy to fit with the changes we’ve made with the solar panel on the back. In St. Anne, we finally put it up! So nice! It’s like having a living room with 4 open sides! We can also drop the middle down when it rains to catch rainwater for the water tanks. NICE!
We put our dinghy up each night, reason is safety (see below: the heavy chains by the outboard motor) as well as keeping the bottom clean. Dinghy theft can be a problem on some islands, and an outboard motor is a tempting steal. So it’s best to keep it locked with heavy chain. And if we didn’t lift it every night, the algae growth on the bottom can get pretty gross.
So we are settled in St. Anne for a few days. And then, maybe our next adventure to other islands begins!