S/V Koinonia Weekly Sailing Log - Exploring Martinique (Wed Nov 29 - Tue Dec 5, 2023)
Highlightsw this week: purchasing new batteries for Koinonia; decorating for Christmas; exploring the interior of Martinique via rental car; hopes to hike Mt Pelé change into Christmas shopping excursions; decorating the boat for Christmas; provisioning and preparing to leave Martinique.
Wed Nov 29 - beautiful weather all day. Typical school day; Ben traded stocks (trading his modified strategy). Worked on getting our new LiFePO4 batteries ordered for when we arrive in St Martin. Ben finished cleaning the waterline on the boat, which took most of the afternoon while the kids swam off the back of the boat and Amber made a meatloaf for dinner in the solar oven.
Thu Nov 30 - typical school day; Ben traded, then called the battery dealer at Tradewind Marine Electronics in Sint Maartin and paid the deposit on our LiFePO4 batteries. Rained on and off all day. The kids did extra chores today to earn some money. Lizzy and Aliza washed the deck of the boat and Madelyn dusted all the interior surfaces of the boat. Ben made water and did some troubleshooting on low boost pump pressure. We think we might have something partially blocking the intake thru-hull, so we have to get in the water and check it out.
Fri Dec 1 - went ashore and bought pastries, coffee, and juice at the boulangerie in Sainte-Anne, then picked up our rental car. The car has a manual transmission, which made Ben happy. Drove to Zoo De Martinique in St-Pierre; the grounds are beautiful and ruins from the 1902 catastrophe are still standing, including an old rum distillery. Ate lunch at a beachside restaurant called “Yemanja.” Next, we went to a few stores in search of some essentials and a Christmas tree, which we found, but unfortunately we realized the tree lights are wired with a European plug when we got home. Before we drove back to Sainte-Anne, we stopped at a very busy roadside stand for pizza. Amber researched hiking the famous volcano, Mt. Pelé, but learned it is a very advanced hike and we would have to leave Sainte Anne before dawn, so change of plans for tomorrow’s outing.
Sat Dec 2 - went ashore and ate lunch at Boubou Bokits, then drove the car back to Fort De France to do some Christmas shopping. Thankfully, we found an adapter for the Christmas tree so we could finish decorating when we get back to the boat. Went to La Galleria mall and found some Christmas presents for the kids. We also visited the candy store. After shopping, we drove back to Sainte Anne. Had dinner at a chicken kabob restaurant; while we waited, we enjoyed a good laugh when a bold possum spooked a guy walking on the sidewalk.
Sun Dec 3 - Today was our grocery provisioning trip to Carabïe Price. This store definitely had the best prices. We opted to wait on buying perishables so we could enjoy a family outing. We tried the bowling alley, but it was reserved for a private event. Next we tried the mall, but it was closed like most stores on a Sunday afternoon. We found a McDonald’s that was open and the kids were happy to enjoy fast food which is extremely rare for us. We came back to Sainte Anne and got ice cream at Ti Plezi; hands down, the best sorbet we’ve ever eaten. We took our groceries back home and Amber made toasted sandwiches from fresh baguettes. Late in the night, Madelyn woke up sick. Unfortunately, this continued all night.
Mon Dec 4 - last day with the rental car. Madelyn is a bit better and unfortunately we have some important errands to run. So Aliza stayed home with Maddy to take care of her sister. Lizzy joins Ben and Amber to run errands. We drove to Le Marin to buy some items from the Chandlery, got our SCUBA tanks filled, and bought a few more Christmas presents at Decathlon (probably the largest sporting goods store we have ever seen). Aliza texted asking for McDonald’s for lunch and also continued to update us on how Maddy was feeling. Lastly, we stopped at the gas station to fill our gas Jerry cans, fill the car tank and then washed and vacuumed the rental. We drove back to Sainte Anne to unload all our stuff and return the rental car. Our dinghy was loaded down with tanks, gas cans, presents and food. Began seriously looking at weather to determine our departure from Martinique. We have to be in St Martin by late December, since we are scheduled to haul out in early January. Ben made a Bolognese sauce with spaghetti for dinner. Thankfully, Maddy was feeling well enough to eat.
Tue Dec 5 - regular school day; Ben paper traded to continue testing strategies. Took Amber and two massive laundry bags to the laundromat mat. To get there, we tied up to a floating dinghy dock, walked along the beach and hiked up hill for half a mile. The laundromat was clean though and Amber was finished in less than two hours. Once back at the boat, the kids folded all the laundry and put it away. Amber made French toast, bacon and grits for dinner. Thursday is looking like our best window to sail for Guadalupe.