Monday, March 24, 2008


As I sit in the one bar in Le Marin (a lovely beach side town on the south east coast of Martinique) that has a free internet connection, I am forced to contemplate what's most it the older guy to my right yammering to his friend in the states (in a heavy NY accent) about the boat next to him and the naked German lady who was doing laundry outside all day yesterday? Or perhaps it's the teen-aged French kid to my left screaming (and slobbering) into the mic on his computer in the vain hopes that the person on the other end can make out what he's saying. No....wait...I've got it... it's the stereo blaring classic hits like "Pump Up the Jam" throughout the bar....but I digress...

We've been in Martinique for about a week now and though we've enjoyed our time here, I have to admit, I have nothing terribly new to report at the moment. The island is beautiful, the baguettes delicious, and the sailing to get here and to get around has been pleasant. We took a six hour hike yesterday complete with stunning vistas and fresh cantaloupe picked right from the ground. Two evenings ago, we strolled around Anse Mitan (another beach side town) and found yet another fantastic gelateria (may I suggest a scoop of double dark chocolate and a scoop of rum raisin in a waffle cone next time you’re unsure of what to eat for dinner?). The bottom line here is while I have nothing exciting, scary or otherwise noteworthy to report, I have absolutely nothing to complain about...OK, except for maybe my loud bar mates....and well, maybe there's something else too. It’s not a complaint exactly, but more like a slow realization that when our time in the Caribbean is up (in just over two months), I will be ready to move on to the next adventure. Not that our travels over the past 8 months haven’t been amazing—they truly have been. It’s no wonder there are folks we've met who've been cruising the Caribbean happily for years and years. The islands are relatively close together, so you can avoid overnight sails most of the time, the islands themselves are beautiful, the weather is fantastic and the rum is ever-flowing. But I think for the longer term, both Kevin and I are looking for something more--or at least something different.

When we first planned this sailing adventure, I was adamant that under no circumstances did I want to complete a circumnavigation. While I could see bumming around the Caribbean and possibly Europe via sailboat, the thought of challenging ourselves, our relationship and our boat to take three years to sail around the world just didn't appeal. I didn't relish the thought of multi-week passages, challenging weather (or worse) and remote corners of the world where we'd truly have to practice self-sufficiency. In fact, when we were still living in CT, Kevin was e-mailing with a fellow cruiser who'd just completed a three year around the world sail with his wife. I remember that this guy was relentless with his harrassment that we think big and trade the yacht clubs of the Caribbean for something more aggressive...namely, the kind of trip that he and his wife had just completed. At the time, I'll admit, I thought the guy was kind of a jerk and that he couldn't possibly understand how scary a trip like that would be for someone with no sailing experience.

Fast forward eight months and I'm leading the charge to begin a circumnavigation via the Panama Canal starting next February. Given the numerous schedule changes to date, I suppose it's more than possible that this latest plan will evolve in a manner previously un-thought of, but I can say with certainty that whatever we decide to do, it won't be to spend another season down in the islands. Amazing how quickly things change.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is amazing our your perspective has changed. Sailing across the Pacific to places that remain exotic sounding and in some cases are in fact exotic should be a real challenge. After coming home from Greg's and my visit with you in Guadeloupe--the island was lovely--like most of the islands but there really was a fairly routine life style. As you said the Caribbean is great for day sailing--but island life is island life. The language may may different--but there is a great deal of similarity among the islands. I'm still looking forward to hearing more about your plans--particularly about your all to brief return in summer. Will you be staying long enough to go to Julie"s wedding? Where are you going next? Ilook forward to the next entry and hope there is a fun but not too exciting next adventure. Lov you--jean

March 24, 2008 at 10:12 PM  

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