After our grueling day, we had planned to crash early, but are persuaded to join a group of cruisers going to a Basque restaurant to celebrate the birthday of Diane, a friend of Anne and Luc’s. We have no regrets as the food is good especially as I didn’t have to cook it or clean up afterwards and is so often the case with cruisers, the conversation flows easily and before the end of the evening we have made some new friends.
Not so pleasant, were the number of rats we spied lurking around the marina on our way home that night. Yeuch!
First on our to do list this morning is to install some anti-rat funnels on our mooring lines made from cut-up water bottles (just praying they work... ). Then while I get a start on cleaning, Patrice heads out to run some errands. He’s on a mission to find a laundromat, the local Volvo agent to sort out a problem with the gearbox on our engine, the local Raymarine agent to inspect several electronic issues. someone competent to install our wifi booster (aka ‘Bad Boy’) properly and a car rental place.
Despite the tempting conversations on the dock, he’s been pretty efficient and by the end of the morning, he has booked a rental car from Saturday afternoon to Monday, the laundry has been delivered to a capable laundress and he has promises from all three agents to come and see about the work that needs to be done early next week.
Before we end the day, we collect our two day rental car which our good cruising friends Ann and Steve would surely dub an SdJ* due to its sorry state. Never mind, it works and more importantly will take us around the island for some exploring and a bit of shopping.
Sunday. Sunday is a declared day of rest aboard Taka Trois and I have a hankering for a beignet (doughnut) for breakfast. When we were here 16 years ago, we met a certain ‘Captain Beignet’ selling scrumptious freshly made doughnuts right on the beach at nearby St. Anne, so we fired up the rental car and headed that way. An hour later, after wandering up and down the beach, there is not a beignet in sight. No problem, we’re in France right? We find ourselves a patisserie and treat ourselves to a flaky croissant, island style, filled with sweet toasted coconut. Mmm mmm GOOD--who needs Captain Beignet!
Before we get back to Taka Trois, Diane and Alexis of the yacht Beramtegi-gabe (now that’s a mouthful to say on the VHF) flag us down to extend an invitation for lasagna the next evening. We accept with pleasure and offer to bring brownies.
Monday: No sign of the Raymarine agent, but the Volvo engine expert arrives early and dives down into the engine room for a look. With a few hours left on the rental car, I have been looking forward to a much-needed morning off the boat on my own to do a bit of shopping. However, just I am preparing to leave the boat the Volvo guy announces that the boat needs to be hauled out AGAIN! There goes my morning out! Patrice takes one look at my downcast face and assures me that with the help of his new friends on the pontoon he can manage without me this time. I flee before he changes his mind, sending up a prayer that all will go well. It does and by early afternoon the problem is sorted and after my morning out, I return to the boat refreshed and in better spirits.
Dianne and Alexis’ lasagna dinner party has grown in numbers and as we have the bigger boat, we offer to host everyone aboard Taka Trois. We’re a merry bunch of seasoned sailors with lots of stories and jokes to share and the evening flies by all too quickly.
The skipper, Alexis and two friends salvaged this vessel from the mud flats in the Bay of Arcachon, France and spent 5 years renovating it before sailing it across the Atlantic this past year. Diane and Alexis, who have been living aboard for more than a half a year are a young couple and have jobs waiting for them in Marie-Galante, where his parents live 6 months of the year. Our farewell is just an au revoir as we hope to see them tomorrow when we go to Marie-Galante ourselves.
With an extra day and chores complete, we take John up on his offer to go for a hike along a river in Basse Terre, an unspoilt area where he likes to fish and relax. What joy to get off the boat for a few hours and soak up the lush green of this beautiful part of the island!
*SdJ=Shitbox du Jour