Thursday, December 5, 2013


First impressions of St Anne was favorable, the dock was nicely made and sturdy, the plaza where the ancient church was located overlooking the port, was very clean and well maintained. It is nice to be in a civilized place. We walked up and down the main street, passed by a cemetery at the most prominent point, overlooking the bay. This is the second time we see this type of tombs (first in Le Marin); each one was made like a small free standing room, covered with white tiles, gleaming in the, sun. One or two of the walls had openings (like large windows), secured by white iron grills, and nice vases containing plastic flowers were strewn about, at the top or inside the tombs. I guess the dead needed to be protected here, but did not deserve fresh flowers! The overall effect is quite bizarre.

Anyway, I wanted to check out the restaurants that Doyle so rave about. There were a few, but most of them closed. When I spotted La Dunette, I suggested having a refreshment and use their wifi. There were a few customers, its interior was pleasent looking with an uncomfortable seating arrangement. We found a place, ordered drinks and was immeadiately asked to pay 5 Euros for a tea and mineral water, but were not able to use the wifi. When I had a sip of the tea, it tasted like cream. It appears that their dishwashing was also made without soap, like their handwashing. No thanks, La Dunette is out of bounds for us.

We checked out the 8 a Huit market, which was a bit better than a Mac's (corner grocery store) with so-so bread and ample wine.  Not a major provisioning place. While we were passing by an ancient hotel, I used my French to ask about a laundry sevice, thinking that the hotel could have something. Non Madame, seulmant au Marin. That is not good, Le Marin is not far by boat, but we did not yet have a mental picture of anchoring there, taking a ball is too complicated, which involves speaking French on the VHF. I can not undestand what the islanders say in English on it, with all the cracking and disconnections, how is it going to be in French?

Thankfully I had picked up a booklet offered free of charge at the chandlery in Le Marin, while Al was busy dealing with the chain etc. In it, a lot of information useful for sailors is provided (in both official languages), including a small advertisement from a laundry shop, promising free pic-up and delivery at Le Marin marina and St Anne dock. The service was geared for mega yachts, so the prices could prove prohibitive, but I was determined to explore. I also read that there was a bus service of some sorts from St Anne to Le Marin and Fort De France. Telephone was out of the question, so the firts thing to do was to perform a reconnaisance mission, using the "taxico" (shared taxi/minibus). Knowing the jargon is essential, and we are equipped with a book I bought in Grenada; "French For Sailors".  A must for cruising around French speaking islands!

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