Now, do you remember the Romanian sailor that surprised us with his presence in Le Marin? Naturally we established an instant friendship. Not that difficult - he was an extremely pleasant guy.
We tried to agree on a specific VHF channel on which we could keep in touch because we needed to fuel up at the gas station. In the end he discovered that his VHF was not working so he came to us at the the fuel pontoon and we chatted a lot. After that he helped us to find a place in the marina. His name was Razvan but he had somehow earned the nickname Legendaru’ (The Legendary). We had trouble to find a spot as they only wanted to give us a place at the buoy (tied to a “balloon”) for a day. So Legendaru’ helped us find a place.
We had a wonderful time in Martinique. It was our first stop in the Caribbean after-all. Le Marin is a beautiful place where everyone is kind and welcoming. It’s a small town in the south of Martinique where the main marina is located with chandleries equipped with all the spare parts that you might need at an inflated price. We stayed there 2 months in order to fix our new auto-helm that broke in the middle of the Atlantic. It is the most protected area in Martinique to leave your boat if a hurricane occurs. It was hard for us to get a place in the marina for the first 3 weeks but as the high season started to end, it got easier by the week.
However, not all the island is that welcoming. We rented a car for a week in order to see the island where we discovered the island is beautiful – too bad there’s people living on it. We found the locals to be stuck up. We went to a place that called itself restaurant once where the owner didn’t like our faces (nor our cute dog’s face) hence she treated us like dirt. There’s always a disparity between you and them where they are somehow superior to you. My dad tried buying chayotes (a vegetable found in the Caribbean) but got a bit fustrated when the seller on the street didn’t even acknowlegde him. Some might sat that it’s because we don’t know French but that can’t be the case as both my dad and I speak the language. I found that people in the Cape Verdes - where non of us knew the language - treated us better than the ones in Martinique. I believe that, once you live in the community you get treated better, however, I still wouldn’t be able to live in a community where they treat people that low. They lack basic manners!
Even though most people are this arrogant I would like to note that not all people are like that. In bigger cities or the most touristic zones people are rather nice and know how to treat their guests. We like to visit small villages to get an idea of how life is in a place so not all people have had this experience.
We met several Romanians in Martinique which made us feel more at home. I had the honour of sailing on Cassiopea (a Romanian flagged Beneteau). Along with Legendaru’ and Andreea (a Romanian skipper who crossed the Atlantic in November 2021 on a catamaran). I had a great time sailing with professionals on another boat. We anchored at Pointe-du-Bout where there’s a Caribbean style beach where we spent 2 days snorkling and relaxing. There I also met Aurel and his wife Alina who own Andrew, the yacht we saw on the first day with the collosal Romanian flag, and Cami along with her beautiful baby daughter and her parents. We also met with them again in Les Anses D’Arlet along with another Romaninan family. There we went to a restaurant whose owner Zenaida turned out to be Romanian. We also met Bogdan (Andreea’s crew member) who stayed with Lengendaru’ for the last 2 weeks of his stay in Martinique and Liviu with his family (Cassiopea’s owner).
We also saw Eric and Karin, our friends that crossed the Atlantic 2 weeks before us to Suriname. We were so glad that we could see each other again! I really did miss them! They came to Le Marin a week before we left the marina and left to Saint Anne, Les Anses D’Arlet and Pointe-du-Bout with us. It such was an incredible experience sailing with them on different boats. We had a lovely time with them like always. In Pointe-du-Bout we also met their son Wouter and his girlfriend Sacsha.
In Pointe-du-Bout we celebrated my mum’s birthday on 29th April. She started of her birthday on the wrong foot again having an unexpected bath in the sea along with her phone. The phone worked but it just didn’t want to get charged when she wanted to speak to family and friends. After that, it was as good as new. On the other hand, after my mum saw how warm the water was she had a swim for the first time since she went on holiday in Romania (3 years ago). My dad surprised my mum with a beautiful, French ice-cream cake. It tasted delicious! We spent my mum’s birthday on Mistress as we tried to find a restaurant but no restaurant served food until 7 in the evening making us get angry and even more hungry. We had a drink at a restaurant and then went back to our floating restaurant where our birthday girl cooked noodles.
Overall, we enjoyed our time in Martinique even though I do believe that we stayed too long there. We left Martinique from Fort-de-France on May 10th to stop in Guadeloupe a couple of days before leaving to the Dominican Republic.