Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A busy day!

They are not kidding! 
Wednesday, we rented a car for the day to run some necessary errands. First order of business: refilling ALL of our propane tanks. We'd refilled two when we were in Turks and Caicos, but one of the tanks seemed to have a defective valve, as it wouldn't open the tank when turned. So, down to a tiny bit of propane in our last tank (the one we use for the grill), we were in dire need. Up and over the mountain we went, with all the tanks in the rear of the car, hoping like hell we wouldn't get rear-ended, and found the propane place!

Not exactly state of the art facilities, but cheerful and friendly!
After taking the tanks back to the boat, we ventured to downtown Marigot. It was market day along the waterfront, where vendors in long white,  gingerbread trimmed stalls had all sorts of items for sale. Women in brightly colored skirts and tops were selling fresh fruit of all kinds -- mangos, fresh coconut, whole ripe pineapples, green and yellow plantains, huge papayas -- as well as a wide variety of dried spices. Bundles of  long sticks of cinnamon bark, allspice, cardamom, coriander, peppercorns of various colors, whole vanilla beans, curry blends, dried pastas and something that looked like dried albino seaweed. It was great to meander through and see such variety.

Sticks of cinnamon bark
I have no idea what this is...! It looked like seaweed,
like what you would find in a seaweed salad in a sushi place, only pale.
At the other end of the market, there were stalls filled with piles of pink fresh red snapper, large lobsters (for $11/lb) and fresh fillets of mahi-mahi. All were glistening and bright, looking delicious! But...knowing we are leaving in a few days to return to the States to visit with family, we can’t fill our refrigerator just yet. Not that we weren't sorely tempted!!
Freshly-caught red snapper on ice

Instead, we went to Serafina’s, a fabulous Marigot boulangerie and had a late breakfast, sharing a bowl of fresh fruit, as well as smoked salmon, capers and cheese on half a baguette. Amazing food is everywhere here! 
Where we had a late breakfast
Just a few of the delicious sandwiches to choose from!
From there, we ran more errands. Off we went to Budget Marine (the Caribbean's answer to West Marine), a large, brightly-lit and well-stocked chandlery where we got a few more courtesy flags for the various islands in this part of the Caribbean: Anguilla, Nevis and St. Kitts, Saba and others. Not sure when we'll get there, but always good to have them on board should we need them! 

We also bought more boat wax, a length of line for a better mooring bridle, and a new antenna for Eclipse. Our VHF radio aboard Eclipse receives just fine, but can’t transmit more than a whisper...unfortunately, even with the new antenna! The old one was so ratty that it needed replacement anyway, but clearly there is a corrosion issue elsewhere that is causing enough of a voltage drop so that we can’t transmit. Where it is, I have no idea. :( Another boat project in paradise that will have to be dealt with!
The old antenna
After all our errands and projects, we stopped and bought a few items for lunch. Happily, along with the many boulangeries, patisseries, there are fromageries: I have found cheese heaven! With a great view of the water, luncheon on Equinox’s aft deck was a fresh baguette served with an assortment of cheeses: Bleu d’Auverge, Fromage Altesse, Tomme Noire Des Pyrenees, and a Chamois D’or, accompanied by a glass of  Saint Emillion Grand Cru. Heaven!

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