Written by Jon:
A few days in the company of the lovely Emerald Bay was perfect to lick the wounds from saying goodbye to family (literally in the case of their two dogs).
The routing of the simple life: kids playing together, a BBQ on the back of the boat, an afternoon on the beach, fixing something on the boat, a morning walk and snorkelling with turtles – these easy and simple pleasures are good for the soul and why we’re out here. Our friends on Emerald Bay are easy and welcome company, even more relaxed than Itchy Foot and it is a pleasure to slow down and enjoy.
We spent a couple of nights in Anse Mitan waiting for the glue to dry on our broken dinghy. Spent another night in Fort du France picking up fuel, water, having a picnic in the park and taking a bus trip to Decathlon. Spent a couple of nights in Grand Anse de Artlet snorkelling, walking dogs and enjoying fresh french bread and pan au chocolate for breakfast every morning. Simple and enjoyable.
It became clear however that one of us wasn’t going to make it. Nemo, our dinghy so named as one of the oars is longer than the other, was a lost cause. Over the last few weeks it had transitioned from a motorised puddle, to motorised foot bath to finally a motorised paddling pool. We picked-up anchor and headed to Le Marin and the various dinghy dealers to shop for a replacement. After a bit of wheeling and dealing we managed for find a good solution and became the proud owners of Dory (the sequel to nemo) a Highfield RIB. We’re hoping that Dory will last a little longer than Nemo and with her nice strong aluminium bottom, will be better suited to life as a hard-working cruisers dinghy.
Other than the excitement of spending large sums of money which we didn’t really want to spend, life continued at a slow pace. Moving out from Le Marin to Sainte Anne with our new dinghy we found old friends. Element, who were part of the Atlantic Odyssey welcomed us back and shortly after Perina (we met them in Barbuda) showed up. A couple of days later Blue Zulu rocked up into the anchorage and we got to meet new kids boats too: Flip Flops, Mango and Ketchy Shuby all joined the gang. Suddenly and without much planning we had twelve kids running around causing trouble. A tribe of trouble!
With Mia and Teo surrounded by such good friends and safely anchored in a well protected bay with good holding it seemed like a good opportunity to take a quick hope back to the UK. During the hurricane season it would be very expensive or risky to leave Itchy Foot unattended so this would be the last chance to pop-back for a while. I had family I wanted to see and horrific amount of money to spend on ‘boat stuff’ which would be a lot cheaper in the UK than in Grenada. Plus, just enough airmiles with Air France which were about to expire. So off I went, an early flight out on Friday morning via South America (I do not recommend flying from the Caribbean to Europe by heading south first – but it was cheaper) to French Guyana and then both Paris airports and then finally 28 hours later I landed safely into Newcastle airport. I had a few days to see family and shop and on Wednesday morning I’m back on a plane headed home, to Itchy Foot in Martinique. Written at 30,000 ft, passing over the Azores and the north Atlantic where many friends with boats are making their way slowly back to Europe.
I’m looking forward to getting back to Mia, Teo and our life as we head slowly south down the island chain.