It started when we met Jilly. Jilly was a fellow cruiser hanging out with her boyfriend in Jolly Harbour Marina in Antigua. Can’t remember his name unfortunately. We were parked next door.
‘Stay pink, darlings!’ was one of Jilly’s favourite sayings. Although she was retired, Jilly was nonetheless determined we keep all of our youthful complexions by constant use of sun screen.
Smothered by SPF 30, our eyes feeling like burning sugar cane every time we went into the water, this didn’t stop us enjoying Jilly’s company. Jolly Harbour Jilly was indeed jolly. It was like meeting a distant auntie who no one told you was fun. Where had she been all our lives? As we hung out, Jilly taught us to use rags to curl our hair. This led to Lulu getting months of use out of my old pyjamas, curling all our hair each night. Meeting Jilly was a low-cost, if red-eyed result. Minus the pyjamas.
‘You must go to St Pierre in Martinique. Tip of the north coast.,’ Jilly insisted. We were still Caribbean newbies and not above asking for anchorage insights. I wouldn’t do that now. Now, I’d just shrug my shoulders and find out for myself. We’ve learned people’s anchorage experiences are so different – even in the same square kilometre. Swell, no swell, bad holding, good holding, nice place, not so nice. You have to try it yourself.
Jilly didn’t mind my question though. She understood my green curiosity. ‘St Pierre!’ she exclaimed. ‘It’s wonderful. Plus they have an amazing museum. You must go.’
Amazing museum? I was sold. And yet, despite hearing Jilly tell us one more time to stay pink as her boyfriend X was pulling out of their marina spot, we never did get to St Pierre. Except yesterday we finally did.
I thought of Jilly. By now, I’ve given up trying to stay pink. Oh – and his name was Roger! Phew. Roger that.