Vive la différence.

We’re now in France!  Well not quite, but it feels the same.  We’re on Martinique which is French and boy can you tell the difference with the other islands that we’ve been to so far.  Proper roads (with street lights), proper cars (even though they’re left hand drive), bistro cafés, supermarkets stocked to the gunnels with canard, smoked salmon packs big enough to feed a small village and cheap, cheap, cheap French wine.  Even the chandlery has an espresso machine by the door so you can get your caffeine fix while you browse around the fishing rods and snorkel gear.  On the downside, we are no longer greeted by big smiles and everyone saying “hello” to us.  But there’s something reassuring about the French indifference and Gallic shrugging when things go wrong instead of trying put things right, so all in all it’s like being in the South of France.

The marina is surrounded by mangroves and there are an alarming number of wrecks to be seen.  Some are completely submerged with only their masts showing above water and this is the stark reminder of the forces of nature or the need for boat maintenance.

Today we went in the dinghy to a pretty seaside town called St.Anne’s for lunch and on the way back we spotted a massive turtle popping up to the surface for air and then disappearing as we went by.

So we’re here for about a week and then heading up to Dominica where I think we’ll be back to basics.