French Martinique, one of the few places in the world where you can make a living as an accordion player. The other day I was bar-b-queing aboard Cream Puff. An accordion and clarinet player strolled down our dock serenading the boats. They were promoting a local bar with live music. What a creative way to advertise the business. They stopped at the back of our boat and played a little medley. Wonderful!
Martinique is the place where people come in the Caribbean to repair their boats. Besides, le Marin being a hub for charter boats, there are tons of businesses near the docks that do repairs. There are full service boat yards, riggers, mechanics, carpenters, fiberglass guys, refrigeration and air-conditioning experts. Well, you get the point. If you need something repair or replaced, you can get it done here. We were not immune to the need for some skilled labor. Fortunately, the US Dollar and Euro exchange rate is still fairly favorable for us. We had some work done on Cream Puff while here.
The marina where we are staying is massive. It can accommodate about 1,000 boats. The town of Le Marin feeds off this marina. Tourists come to see the boats and perhaps have a meal or drink in one of the many dockside restaurants. Local businesses thrive from the sheer number of boater’s spending money. And in addition, charter companies are based here adding another element to the economy of boats and tourism.
The local Carrefour store will deliver groceries to the boat. We can order provisions on-line and have them delivered down the dock to Cream Puff for free. They are delivered by a little ATV pulling a trailer and placed on the dock directly behind the boat. We personally haven’t used this service yet but have seen other people load up the boat for an extended trip. This awesome service makes provisioning easy, especially for the charter boats buying food for eight people for a week.
As I said, we are not immune to repairs. We took advantage of some of the services here to have some work done on the Puffster.
With all that is available to us in Martinique, we were missing a few things. I like orange juice. We are fortunate to have two good size freezers aboard the Puffster. This means I can buy frozen concentrate orange juice and keep it aboard. That is, when we can find it in the store. We can usually find the boxed OJ but not the good frozen or 100% stuff. On Martinique we went to a Hyper U. This store was bigger than a super Wal-Mart. But alas, no OJ. We went to Carrefour, one of our favorite stores in the whole wide world. Again, no OJ. We plan on being in the French islands for a couple more months and the OJ situation is getting critical.
If you are a regular reader of this blog and take scrupulous notes on the content, you will recall I love tacos. If you can put it in a taco, I’m going to eat it. I could eat tacos three times a day. In fact, I probably already have. My favorite tacos are the soft flour ones. Yes, the ones made with flour and lard. Real lard! Please don’t send me mail about the ill health effects of lard. I am getting low on these, and the local Carrefour has sold out. They are not sure when they will get more. Cindy can make tortillas but we have been busy fixing things. We have pictures to prove this. The taco situation is getting critical.
Our outboard motor is acting up again. I have three carburetors for it and managed to get two good ones out of the three. I am getting to the point where I can swap the carburetor out in less than 5 minutes. Changing a carburetor on the fly is not something I had envisioned as a necessary skill when embarking upon this journey. But now there is something else also going on with the engine and I am having trouble with the reality I might have to spend some money to employ a professional for help. I am looking at the worth of this engine and the cost of a new one. How much longer do we put money into this one? Are we better off with a new one and rid ourselves of the headache? This dear little engine has served us well but it is now unreliable. We use the dinghy like people use their car. Our boat is our house. We park it in the cove. Our dinghy is our transportation to shore or fellow boaters. Our dinghy situation is now getting critical.
Cindy and I are contemplating our options on tacos, OJ and outboards.