Friday, January 16, 2015

From Dinghy Drama to Delectable Delights

Welcome to the island of Marie Galante.

Getting the heavy, hard-bottomed, old, worn-out dinghy off the deck was a challenge.

Then we discovered we had to pump up the dinghy each  time we paddle to shore. The engine went kaput last night, after our reconnaisance run around the neighboring French catamaran, to the amusement of the young ladies on board.

After a bit of grumbling, we broke out the paddles and continued to the rundown village of Saint Louis, determined to salvage our sanity.

Despite the multitude of boarded-up buildings, we discovered a dining hideaway with an uber-friendly proprietor at Chez Pierrot, on the beach.
With a little help from our hostess, we ordered lambi (conch), poisson grille, poulet coco (chicken), bananas flambee, and grilled pineapple, accompanied by du vin rouge.
We paddled the half mile back to the boat, in the dark, with four crew members intact. It only rained once, briefly, during the night. We consoled ourselves for our dinghy troubles with morning croissants at the Boulangerie de Jacques (paddling to shore, of course).

Then we took to the seas for a short sail to the next blown-out town of Grand Bourg--only snagging our keel once on the many fishing buoys. Quick thinking on Greg's part--engine in neutral to stop the prop, heave to with the sails to stop the boat--saved the big boat engine from also burning out.

Hard times have hit this burg, too.

According to a local resident (i.e., Amber practicing her French), only one or two restaurants are left. The one we were searching for is "morte" (dead). 

Ah, well, it was still a fine day, topped by happy hour on the seafront at sunset.

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