We came into Le Marin and took a marina buoy. It was one of the last remaining ones, deep in the graveyard of unattended boats. We were lucky to have that. We know how busy it gets in Le Marin. In January, we had to plead for the buoy every few days. This required the old Las Palmas trick of getting the cookies out when the marina men came round, doing their inspection. ‘Quick! They’re here! Get out the cookies.’
I’m not saying I resort to cheap bribery. I resort to very cheap bribery! But it does always fascinate me how people appreciate small things. Like the bananas here. You get big ones and very small sweet ones.
I’m happy to report too that Tropical Storm Gonzalo, turned into a damp squib at the last moment. The large amount of Saharan dust blown over the Atlantic during the last couple of months seemed a successful hurricane shield after all. Interestingly, the European system, ECMWF (possibly world’s most unfriendly anagram to remember) called this outcome from the beginning. Jack thinks those guys plug everything into their super-advanced computers, then go and drink coffee at the café while the computer does everything. ‘Millennials,’ Lu scoffs.
In the meantime, Tropical Storm Gonzalo still sits just over 10 degrees. Those of us further north got lucky. We’ve been here long enough to know that after this kind of weather event passes and you’ve missed it, the temptation is to think you somehow outsmarted it. Good thing I stayed here, I knew we’d miss it – that sort of thing. The truth is – if you missed it, you were lucky. That’s it. Some statistics help to decide where’s the safest place to be, but as we’ve seen with Tropical Storm Gonzalo, there is often no rhyme or reason during the hurricane season.
Another system is already on its way. As well as one storm developing off Texas with the dubious name of Hanna – I mean, who gives these names out?? A new one is busy making its way across from the African coast right now. It’s already higher than Gonzalo. The next weather system is due to hit the islands from the latitude of Martinique – upwards.
With this, we’ve decided to make our way to Bonaire tomorrow. Checked out of Martinique and ready to go. The only thing we’ve cancelled is the hoist lift-out – to fix the prop shaft-seal leak. We think it should hold until we lift out in a few months time. With a sudden flash, we realised this is our last day in the Eastern Caribbean. Quest has been here since the 2nd of February, 2016: over four fantastic years.
We’ve spent all this time so far in the English-speaking islands. The French Antilles too. We have not yet seen the Dutch Antilles. The ABCs are the beginning of the Western Caribbean. Will it be clogs and cacti? Tulips and turtles? Pancakes and parrots? We are so excited to find out. We’ll back online in just over three days. In the meantime, Quest is out. Sailing. Sigh.