Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tranopys, Ziplines, Ripped Sails and Birthdays

One of the delights of having guests stay with us is how they get us to step outside of our comfortable box and give us opportunities to see the islands from different perspectives. With the Christmas festivities over we took a day to relax with a walk and a swim at Pigeon Island in Rodney Bay where the once heavily fortified peaks are now a national park. We all climbed Fort Rodney for some wonderful views of the bay then left Martin and Claire to climb the steeper Sugar Hill while we sheltered from the rain down below.

The following day Claire had booked us all in a for a rain forest adventure in the north of the island in a place called Chassin. Not really sure what to expect we were kitted out in harnesses, blue hair nets and helmets. The first part of the adventure had us riding a tramway that took us up into the rainforest canopy, suspended high we could see all the way down to the rain forest floor past trees that were 180ft tall! At 1400ft we dismounted the tram and hiked for a short while until we reached the first of the zipline platforms. Now we knew what the helmets were for as we spun on our karabiners bashing our heads onto the sturdy wire of the ziplines. Before we knew it we had traversed 9 ziplines through the cool green rainforest. It was then a hike and a gondola ride back down the peak with some spectacular views of the north of the island before we reached the start point again. All in all a fun and exciting experience. Thank you Claire and Martin.

We left the comfort of the marina the following morning with Imagine and Meteor for a “Rosie’s Birthday Rally” across to St Anne’s on the south east coast of Martinique, for guess what? birthday! It was a blustery trip, hard on the wind all the way. After 7 ½ years of cruising we have our first sail casualty with a foot length rip on the leech of the headsail. But it is so windy at the moment that we have furled it away to deal with another day. We anchored in St Anne’s but after a little mix up where Imagine ended up anchoring in Marin 2 miles away we decided to join them as there were more restaurants for a slap up birthday meal for me the next day.

I have to say I had a fantastic, truly decedent day. Cappuccinos piled high with cream and pain aux chocolates in the morning. A leisurely lunch with Sim, Martin and Claire in a snack bar near the waterfront and a few drinks on Alianna before we went ashore for cocktails and moules et frites at the Mango Bay restaurant that evening. Fi made the most fantastic cheesecake with whole chunks of chocolate that we all scoffed for dessert. With good company, food and lots of lovely gifts – a girl couldn’t ask for more.

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