Back on board after three months away was a strange feeling, she was in pretty good condition in the marina all but a couple of scuff marks left by neighbouring boats with poor boat handling skills. We of course arrived with much larger suitcases than we left with, packed full of boat parts, Primark clothes and a precious stock of tea leaves.
Returning to our ‘other’ life took a few days to get used to, and after some re-provisioning we left our hot mosquito filled marina berth and anchored out in the bay whilst we waited for our water maker part to arrive from France. We have been waiting for this since last year, our existing 11 year old Aquabase watermaker has several leaks and the unit is not repairable, so the company gave us an exchange on the part and actually what arrived was just about a whole new watermaker. The newer model uses larger diameter fittings which not only caused a lot of work re-plumbing but lots of trips to the various chandleries too. Lifting the main unit which has the hydraulic amplifier and membrane into place was tricky in a small space in the engine room as it weighs around 60 kilos. Ten days later, we are up and running producing 70 litres an hour (our old one had got down to 30), its great not to have to buy bottled water for drinking anymore.
There is not a huge amount of wildlife here in the bay, we rarely see fish jumping out late in the day and there is a distinct lack of sea birds. The funniest encounter was whilst we were in the marina, I noticed a small green heron jump on to a mooring rope on the boat opposite and sit very still looking into the water beneath him. I was expecting him to dive in any second, when he swung upside down still hanging on to the rope and plucked a small fish out of the water, then swung back upright and swallowed his catch. He was back again the next evening, same rope, same routine. A skilled gymnast of a feathered variety, priceless.
Priceless, sadly, the beer is not. A case of the local ‘Lorraine Blonde’ will set you back a hefty 34 euros – thats a little over £30. Good job the wine is cheap at £3.50 a litre otherwise Captain would be on serious rations, well we are on a budget. There are three good sized supermarkets to choose from in Le Marin all in walking distance, the Leader Price even has its own dinghy dock, and the local market has a good selection of fresh produce with locally produced salad leaves and eggs.
Today we have a very wet tropical wave over us (a trough of low pressure which passes over the Caribbean from the African coast, they come across every 3 to 4 days and if conditions are right these can turn into cyclones at this time of year) so its strictly indoor jobs today as Joy gets a very thorough freshwater wash down. So now we are waiting for a weather window to head south, we haven’t made our minds up yet exactly where we are going and who knows maybe the weather will end up deciding for us.