Aha. That’s what happens when you’re the closest boat to the firework display. We woke up to Quest completely covered in black soot. With many pieces of cardboard, the words ‘Warning: explosives’ charred and still visible.

Oh well. Those heady fifteen minutes. And you wouldn’t know it had even happened unless your boat had turned black and white. Everyone had gone.

As it was now officially New Year’s Eve, it seemed like a good excuse to wash down Quest. We took the 6-gallon container and went in search of water – to the other side of Fort Louis. 4 trips later to the small waterside petrol station and we had one clean boat. We never wash Quest this way, so it felt good. Her decks were truly swabbed for the New Year.

Went to the dinghy dock afterwards. We discovered the area that had been the site of a concert the day before was already tidied and packed up.

This left the question: what did Martinique’s people do on the 31st of December if they partied on the 30th? Not much it turned out. The tradition is to spend the actual passing of the old year with family and friends, preferring a quiet celebration after partying the night before. Frankly, I would do it this way every time.

In view of this, there weren’t many people around. We walked. Fort-de-France’s streets are narrow mix of old and new. Some of the buildings look hundreds of years old. Held together by string and duct tape. Others are brick-built and solid. No matter what their state of repair, they all reside side-by-side without a breath to spare. Metal-wrought iron balconies run along joining buildings together. On a hot day, it was a pleasure to walk on the shady side.

We made our way to the central mall where we’d been before. Some purposeful chores were done – like getting the girls’ spectacles tightened at the opticians’, to a quick run around Carrefour. Finally the treat. Last time we were here, we’d noticed a large and well-stocked bookstore.

The French are well-known for their board games. Our first summer visiting Brest in Brittany taught us this. We entered a toy store where you could try all the games before you bought them. The game bug was born.

We don’t really play board games at home now – besides Cluedo over and over again. Has anyone played two-player Cluedo? It’s painful at best. On Quest, we have a better selection of games. Ellie has rooted through them and got us playing again. Our game bug has returned.

I left the book store with a much lighter wallet. Two new board games – Mysterium (posh Cluedo involving ghosts and psychics: 2-player version here we come 😬) and a gem-collector’s card game called Splendour. Let the games begin! After we download and print the English instructions.