Ya Ya bar and a bottle of rum.

It’s been a week since my mishap with the wind generator and I am feeling much better, thankyou.   The cuts are beginning to itch and I am very much looking forward to getting the stiches out, supposedly on Tuesday.

The last few days have been uncharacteristically still with almost no wind to keep things cool.  Happily, it does cool down quite a bit at night so sleeping isn’t a problem.

We moved into La Marin to be closer to shopping and less exposed to the small chop in St Anne,  There are also a good number of places to eat out and renting a car there is also quite easy.

To that point, we took a day to drive around the island and visit some distilleries with our friends Lynn and Mark on Roxy on Wednesday.   I have been on the hunt for some interesting rums for some friends and our travels did not disappoint.

In particular, I enjoy Clement, a great place to visit.  This short video, also featured on their website, captures the spirit, pun intended, of Martinique.Since the pandemic, like so many businesses that had to close, they took advantage of the shutdown to remodel their tasting room.   Unlike similar businesses in the US that charge for tastings, at most distilleries in the islands, you can try as many as you wish.  And, because taxation on spirits in the islands is so much different than in the US, prices are considerably less here.  For about $25-$50 you can get a very nice bottle of 10 year old rum and a very decent rum is in the teens.

You can tell from the face of the building that this place is something special.  Stainless cladding. The tasting room at Clement is impressive with their product dramatically displayed. This selection is just their basic product.   Pretty good anyway and about $15 a bottle. And the better stuff.  Want to spend $1,000 a bottle, that’s possible but probably not necessary.  This was a particularly dramatic display in a tall stairwell. Upon closer inspection, reflected in mirrors on the bottom of each shelf. These bottles show off the various colors of their rums.If you want to purchase product, and everyone does, they will store your purchases while you tour the sculpture gardens.  We’ve been here before but it’s always worth another look.  Quite dramatic and huge sculptures.And a reminder that this place has been in business for a long time.  Very tropical.And now onto another topic.

Many of us, should I say “of a certain age” struggle to get in and out of the dink, even when we haven’t had much rum to drink.  At the junction of water and land, there are generally docks, often questionable.  Some have high ladders and others are just plain sketchy with splintered boards that we have to crawl onto.

This has been a source of great frustration for Brenda who in addition to hating the whole “spectator sport” of watching her navigate from dink to dock and back again judges a town by the quality of the docks.  And, she is not alone as so many of us aren’t quite as spry as we once were.

Enter the Ya Ya bar.

Last week we were climbing, not all that gracefully, out onto yet another dock and as Brenda got up onto her feet, a woman nearby said, “you should get one of these for your dink” pointing to a bar that has been installed on theirs.   Her husband, who had a bad stroke a while back, needed a way to steady himself in the dink so they had a bar installed to help him get in and out.  She then pointed to a nearby shop, Inoxalu.  The business is owned by a very nice German couple.  The husband Kai, is soft spoken and extremely precise in his work.  It was clear that he thinks hard to make sure that form follows function.  He took time with Brenda in the dink to make measurements so it was the right height to help her and also to find a way to secure the structure to the dink without needing to drill any holes through the hull.

I think that he did a masterful job of putting it all together.

We had the bar installed on the starboard side of the dink as that’s the side that we always pull up to our transom when entering the dink from Pandora. It straddles the seat so it’s a good backrest to help Brenda feel more secure when we are blasting along over the choppy water in the harbor. As we did not want him to bolt the bar directly through the bottom of the boat so  he fabricated some very nice fittings for the pipe to go into.   This is the aft fitting and the pipe can easily be unbolted and removed. The forward outboard fitting is also bolted into a ridge running down the bottom of the dink.And there is a third leg that bolts onto a ridge aft of the forward fuel tank to give the whole structure rigidity.  The bar is very sold and does not wiggle at all.   It works exactly as advertised and Brenda is already finding that it makes getting in and out of the dink much easier.

She even has a name of it and christened it “My Ya Ya Bar”.  And for those of  you that are not aware the names of such things, this is her takeoff of “Granny Bar” the braces that stand on either side of a mast for you to lean up against when it’s rough.  Oh yeah, to be clear, Ya Ya is what our grandchildren call her if you are wondering were in the world that came from.

So there you have it, in one day we became the proud recipients of “A Ya Ya bar and a bottle of rum…” with apologies to pirates everywhere. as we toured the island and waited for the work on our dink to be completed.

And to make things even better, Brenda likes it.   And that’s good.

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