Wednesday, December 4, 2013


We went to the chandlery to ask about the chain, and of course ended up buying 50 ms (roughly 150 ft) of it for 400.00 Euros, almost the same price as St Lucia. Why wait, we would have to anchor outside Le Marin, and Al was a bit worried after talking to Rick.

Stephan, the nice islander who helped us, because he could speak some English, offered to deliver it to our boat, but not that day, the next morning, at 10:00 am. We had to stay one more night in the lagoon, but hey it was a good idea to start the season with a safe anchor.

Stephan told us to come to the store around 9:30 am, to install our markers, the colourful plastic buttons that fit into the chain links. Ours have the colours of traffic lights, in the same order, starting with 40 ft, then every 20 ft. The first set are single, second set doubles, the last one before the rope has all three colours, as a reminder.

We saw that Stephan had already bundled the chain as five strands of 10 meters, with he middle marked with a white line on the pavement. So we roughly converted the lenghts, and placed our markers. while Al was busy with something else, I was walking around the store and overheard another clerk talking to a customer (most probably German) in English, who was demanding a discount, citing the prices of the item they were buying in other countries. The clerk called his boss by phone, and confirmed that they could give a 10% discount.

I told this to Al, and he confronted the clerk, asking why we did not get a discount. His defence; we did not ask for it! It reminded me of Brian Mulroney (former Canadian Prime Minister), who got a bribe from a Swiss shady character and got away with it because the police could not prove it during the inquiry. Then he sued the government for defamation, and received another million dollars to boot. Ten years later, I listened to him during an interview, who claimed that he did not lie during the inquiry, the justice did not ask the right questions! I think the sad part for Mulroney was that, nobody in the Canadian public had a shadow of a doubt that he was guilty, whatever he said or did not say.

Anyway, whoever is reading this, be aware that if you shop in Martinique, be sure to ask for a discount, don't be a sucker like us. The clerk did not change the price of the existing invoice, but gave the discount for the later purchases, like rope to be spliced to the end of the chain and some other small items. Big deal.

Chain in place, we were ready to move on to St Anne, just outside the lagoon, but first we had to fill all our tanks; diesel, water and spare gasoline, to be ready. The fuel dock was just across from us and empty as can be, so we made a move towards it.

The attendant was not in sight until we came dangerously close, then came out of his booth, looking at us. I immediately waved my two arms, and he showed disgust to my waving, making himself understood that we should have called first. These people are quite funny, they think that we can understand them on VHF. Only sign language works for us!

Anyway, he grudgingly tied us to the dock and gave the necessary hoses. While filling the diesel tanks, Al asked him to tell us the amount of diesel dispensed for both of the tanks. He had to walk two steps to the pump at the far end of the dock (hence we could not see the counter), and he was mad one more time, complaining about the amount of work we put him through. I ignored him, Al tried to talk a bit, but not too much. We filled our only empty water tank, and the small jerry jug of gas, and got the hell out of there.

No comments:

Post a Comment