St Ann Martinique. Where cruisers come to play.

It’s Sunday morning and we are still here in St Ann.  Actually, we have decided that we were going to head home for two weeks in late February and are working out the logistics of keeping the boat here as well as what we are going to do to occupy ourselves for the next two weeks before we leave.

Also, as we now have what is, among the cruising community, the strongest magnetic pull home, a grandchild, we have begun thinking about how to continue cruising as well as not be away from family for months at a time.  This is a “universal problem” within the cruising community and each time we meet folks and talk about family visits, they always comment that grand children “can really cramp your cruising style”.  Yes, that appears to be the case for us too.

So, what’s the solution?  Put the boat up on the hard with all the other boats in New England and give up winters afloat?  Not appealing!   Actually, this is complicated by the fact that we really love being home in the summer and personally, I hate cold weather so sailing to Maine in the summer, as great as that would be, would keep us home in the winter.  Not my first choice.

Anyway, there are lots of details to work out and one option is to leave Pandora in Grenada for the summer.   I’ll admit that it’s a real drag running her back and forth to CT and it puts a LOT of wear and tear on the boat and me too.  We have met many cruisers that use their boats over the winter and leave them south for the summer so perhaps that’s an option.

Yes, it will some time to get the boat settled for a long summer in the tropics, but that can’t be much worse than a 1,500 mile schlep north and south with Pandora.

Anyway, this is a nice problem to have so I’ll have to begin checking options.

So, back to St Ann.  Yesterday was market day here and everyone, tourists and vendors alike, were out in force.  St Ann is a small coastal village that is focused on tourists and it’s very charming.   There are a few small groceries and a really wonderful bakery serving up breads and pastries of every description.

I always enjoy seeing what sorts of fish are offered up in markets.   This vendor had a mix of what looked like large, colorful, “aquarium fish” including a few impressive brown spotted moray eels.   We have noticed a lot of fishing floats as we sailed where the water is 100′ deep or less.  I expect that they are fish traps.  Lion fish, an accidental invasive import from SE Asia have decimated the reefs in all areas of the Caribbean and are becoming a popular food fish.  This shot isn’t very clear but it’s a pile of Lion fish.    I have speared a few in the Bahamas and they are indeed very tasty.  You have to be very careful of their colorful spines as they are venomous and very painful if you are pricked by one. The market has a very festive atmosphere with vendors selling most anything from T shirts to spices.  There was a fun Caribbean band playing that livened up things nicely. It’s amazing to see the wide variety of spices and liquors that are available here.  Hey, perhaps that’s why these islands are known as the “spice islands”.  It must take hours to set all this up for sale.
The center of the town is dominated by the Catholic Church.  Oops, crooked photo.  Fire that photo editor!!!  It’s lovely, the church, not the photo, if you” get the picture”.   From the outside, it’s stone.  Inside, an impressive use of timber.  I mentioned that there are something like 350 boats anchored off of the beach here and where cruisers congregate they get together for meals and “sundowners”.   The same day we arrived we were invited to a beach barbecue by a friend who’s been coming here for years.   They get together at noon each Friday for a cookout.  The folks here seem to know each other well and are from all over.   Nice group.
Well, that’s about it for now.   Lots to think about for the rest of the season and next year’s cruising plans, such as they are.   For sure, St Ann will continue to be on cruiser’s plans as it does have a lot to offer.  Nice spot.

For Pandora and her crew, plenty of details to come, as always.  For now, enjoying the sights of St Ann.

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