St Martin, out. The BVIs, in. I’ll take that baguette to go please.

This is it!  I am heading to the BVIs this afternoon for an overnight run with Craig so today is my LAST day in St Martin.  As we prepare to leave it’s time to say goodbye to French food, baguettes, croissants, French wine, fine pastries and little bags of aromatic spices at farmer’s markets.

When I unzipped my camera bag this morning an intoxicating aroma of the islands wafted out and I was reminded that I had purchased some small bags of spices in the outdoor market yesterday.   I have to admit that I have been terribly spoiled by the French islands over the last few months to a point that I have developed a preference of one bakeries’ baguettes over another.

As access to great bread will come to a screeching halt after today, I plan to buy a “brace” of baguettes and a few croissants to bring along.  Yes, I know that baguettes get stale in a day but a stale baguette will be far better than any bread available in the BVIs.   “Bob, Bob, you are such a snob.  It’s disgusting!”.  Yes, I know and considering that I am one of those who “eat to live” verses those who “live to eat” that’s saying something.

As I write this I am sitting in a lovely little cafe, this is what’s in the case behind me.    I must avert my eyes lest I find myself drooling with nose and cheek pressed against the glass.  Oh wait, there’s more.  Is it sin to eat an eclair before noon?Well, at least I’ll have photos to look at and remind me of what awaits next winter when we return.

Last night Craig and I had dinner at a lovely little French place on the water.    And yes, that’s a bottle of French wine in the ice bucket.  I know that putting up photos of one’s meals is tacky but I can’t help it.  But wait, all’s not lost as the BVIs have the boat bar Willie T’s.  I visited it in January.  It has a certain charm.   Lovely clientele.   Very sweet, taking a nap together. Ok, Ok, I am exaggerating as there are some lovely spots in the BVIs but nothing competes with the French islands, nothing and I’ll miss it here.  But, as my father used to say “there’s always next time” and there WILL be a next time.

When Craig arrived on Monday morning we headed ashore but everything was closed because of the long Easter weekend.   There is, as is the case on most islands, a fort overlooking the harbor.

From the summit, the view of town and the harbor is beautiful.   We are anchored between the French side and Dutch side which is on the other side of the mountain to the left.  We are to the right of the small island in the middle of the photo with the little pointy top.  Actually, and not to be indelicate, that island, surely named by the French, is called “witch’s tit”.    Yes, I think I can see the resemblance to a certain anatomical feature if I think like the French.  Oui!The downtown area surely has a French feel with all the red roofs. As the lagoon on the French side is too shallow for large yachts, unlike the Dutch side, they have built a large marina surrounded by a breakwater in the harbor.   Here’s Craig “conquering” the fort.   Notice that he is sporting the same dorky type of hat that I wear.  So practical though.
And speaking of the French, which I was until I began focusing on Craig’s hat, ocean racing is dominated by the French and there is no shortage of go-fast yachts.  These are built with the singular goal of getting from here to there as fast as possible.  This machine was tied up at the St Martin Yacht Club.  She clearly means business.  No creature comforts here. Absolutely no protection from the wind and waves.   But, wow, I’ll bet she’s fast.   Looks completely miserable to me. Brenda’s goal is to “retire” Pandora and to get something to putt-putt up and down the CT River, preferably with a glass of wine.  Perhaps one of these would suit her.   It has just about everything she might want.    A motor, 5HP anyway.  A grill, check, umbrella, check, cooler, check and plenty of cup-holders.  Perfect!   And, while it was designed in France, with the name of Donuts Dream, it looks to me, totally “American”.  It even has running lights for use when it’s dark.  What more could you want?   Baguettes perhaps? Well, they have them here.    The donut boat company even has a facebook page.   You can follow them if you dare.  Nobody will know if you do, I promise.All kidding aside, BVI’s or bust it is and in about a week I’ll be back in the US with Brenda and will soon see our “now not so quite new” granddaughter Tori again.  I don’t know who’s more excited, me or Tori about my return as it’s been a few months since I last saw her.

Grampy is coming to see me!Grampy who?

I won’t think about that right now.

Well, that’s it, French food out, bar crawling in the BVIs, in.   No wait, home to Brenda.  Yes, that’s in.  Totally in!

Can’t wait.  I’m coming Tori.  Soon.

For now, I’ll take a baguette to go.  No make that 6.  I do need to keep my strength up.   Oh yeah, toss a few eclairs in the bag too.

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