Written by Jon:
Teo’s Grandma and Grandad, Carole and David, read all the nice things we had to say about Martinique and, combined with the chance to see Teo they were sufficiently tempted to come out for a week. It coincided perfectly with Adrian and Alexia’s visit so we even had a full day together on the island with seven of us in a mini-van.
Adrian did some research and had some good memories from his last visit to Martinique and suggested a trip to famous and historic rum distillery, Clement, which was now also a botanical garden and museum. It was lovely to see the old steam engine driven machinery and with Teo’s knowledge of engines and pistons I think he understood the basics and got something out of it.
For lunch we headed to the east coast, to a cute row of beach shacks selling excellent french seafood cooking. Ironically it would have been the perfect beach to kite surf from but Adrian’s gear was all back on Itchy Foot. After an excellent lunch we continued our drive around the south coast of Martinique, taking in the coastal scenery before dropping down into Le Marin with several goals in mind. Firstly, ice cream was on the cards for the kids. Secondly, our trusty dinghy was finally falling apart from the heat and sun of the Caribbean and I’d run out of PVC glue to fix him. Thirdly, Celtic Spirit were anchored somewhere in the bay and it would be our last chance to see them before they went north to Antigua and then back over to Europe. Ice cream delivered, glue purchased and we even got to buy Ansis a beer and catch up for an hour, we were back in the car enroute to the hotel.
The next day was fairly low-key, relaxing by the swimming pool at Grandma and Grandad’s hotel and a spot of light lunch before dropping Adrian and Alexia off at the airport for their flight home. We were all sad to see them go.
Teo decided that, given the option, he would rather sleep in a hotel room than on Itchy Foot and as both hotel and grandparents were obliging he got a small bed made up. The rest of the week flew past all too quickly. Teo stayed with his grandparents overnight and Mia and I got to experience a glimpse of life as a sailing couple rather than a sailing family which was a lovely gift to us. Teo got to sleep in a bed which didn’t move and have ‘endless’ hot water showers. At one point I worried that Mia was going to move into the hotel too.
We took trips with the ferry over to Fort du France, hired a car for a couple more days and did a couple of nice trips around the island. Martinique is beautiful from both the sea and also the land. There is a particularly lovely drive which heads up into the mountains just north from Fort du France, past a stunning church on the hill and exquisite botanical gardens before entering into the rain forest on the mountains.
But all good things… and we dropped the Grandparents off at the airport with a tearful goodbye and headed back to Itchy Foot feeling a little sad and alone. Thankfully the cloud had an emerald lining and we didn’t have to be lonely for too long before Emerald Bay bobbed into the anchorage and dropped the hook right beside us.
As always it is lovely to have guests, especially visits from ones which we miss from our lives on the water. Teo has stopped talking about his friends from back in Oslo and now when he is quiet and a little down he talks about missing his Grandma and Grandad and Mormor and Grandpa.