January 8-19, 2010... Ilet Long

Don't know where the time goes. Almost two weeks in a beautiful spot here. The first afternoon we arrived, so did Monsieur Le President Sarkozy who was on a 24-hour stop in Martinique. His helicopters zoomed overhead as he went to his hotel at Cap Est, a couple of miles from where we are. Maybe he saw our boat!
Can't say enough about this anchorage -- so well sheltered -- so private! In two weeks there was only one night when another cruising boat was here. However, coming back from a kayak expedition we saw a VERY unusual sight -- a megayacht turning into Cul-de-sac Fregate. Yikes! It parked right next to us. OK, so they blotted out the sun; we figured they would be gone the next day. Then, they started rolling out the jetskis, waterskis, two launches...we were bracing for the worst...noisy neighbors. We didn't have a clue. One of the launches went to town and came back with a photographer dressed all in cliche photog khaki, right down to the multipocketed vest. Then the jetskis started rehearsing a choreographed routine. And the bikinied model came out on deck. We found out that the boat owner was putting the boat into charter (for a mere $450,000/week) and wanted some great advertising material. Then, the helicopter came and made circles over the action for about 20 minutes while the jetskis did their figure 8s, the waterskier circled the yacht and the model did dive after dive off the stern. It was finally over before sunset. But, if that wasn't enough of a surprise, a SECOND megayacht arrived the next day. The ONLY good thing about these boats is that they rarely stay more than one night.

Some say this part of Martinique is the REAL Martinique. We've met some people here whose families go back 400 years on the island. They were involved in sugar cane and rum production through the centuries. There is still lots of cane planted here and a distillery close by. The landscapes are beautiful -- the homes gorgeous.

The beke, or descendants of the original white settlers, used to meet at Josephine's Bathtub on Sundays to relax and drink rum. This is an unusual place just across the bay from us. The white sand bottom is very shallow, and close to the Atlantic reefs, so it affords a protected place to stand or swim. Now, it is mostly tourists who go there with day charters. We kayaked over to see what it was all about. John poses for us there with mask and snorkel.
Ilet Long is just one of 8 somewhat secluded islands off the town of Le Francois. People relax here on weekends with all kinds of water sports -- small sailboats, kayaks, kite boards. There is always something new to see from the deck of our boat. Why leave?
P.S. We don't have internet access here...we'll post pictures as soon as we can!

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