Mixing business with pleasure

Eileen at anchor, Saint Laurent du Maroni

After a week at sea, the little blue boat is back in French Guiana…. Saint Laurent du Maroni to be precise. Why?

Is it because the leopards here are considerably more desirable than zebra?

Perhaps… I’ll certainly endeavor to devote some of my time and energy to properly reflect upon the pros and cons of each regions disparate fauna. 😉

But there is another underlying reason for my abrupt shift in sailing itinerary…

Model of proposed marina

Had my stay in Chaguaramas been pleasant, had it adequately accommodated my yacht maintenance requirements and had it more or less met my expectations, I would now be on my way to Martinique and beyond.

Instead, my disenchantment with the yachting services and facilities in Trinidad and Tobago have prompted me to seek out alternatives….

Model of boat yard

Unfortunately, there are very few, and evidently the yards at Chaguaramas are well aware of this, (having adjusted their pricing and work ethic accordingly).

This particular sailor wasn’t happy. Nor were many others I’d met along the way. So, with a little help from my friends, some of us decided to do something about it.

The idea of a marina and yacht maintenance complex in Saint Laurent du Maroni was born. Plans were drawn up, a proposal submitted to council and upon acceptance, I sailed back to French Guiana to make it all happen.

View of proposed yacht service complex

Does this spell the end for the adventures of Eileen of Avoca?

Not likely, if anything, it is a new impetus, the stimulus required to ensure Eileen’s adventures continue. My Yarmouth23 has simply found a temporary home in the jungles of French Guiana, and if all goes well, Saint Laurent will soon offer everything a sailor needs.

Undoubtedly I will derive considerable satisfaction in developing a new viable alternative to Chaguaramas.

Feel free to come and visit!

More news from Lanzarote

20 years ago...

From my favourite cafe, just beside a modern monstrosity of a shopping mall, complete with mini-golf and artificial illuminated palm trees, I look across at what’s left of the only “real” building in sight.

Tagged for demolition!

Complete with battered SOS sign decrying attempts to demolished it to make way for more condominiums or another kitsch tourist attraction, it makes a sorry sight. On the back wall of the cafe is a photo taken twenty years earlier showing nothing but the aforementioned condemned building on a wild foreshore.

Ah, to have seen Lanzarote then… I feel I’ve arrived 20 years too late.

Luna and Danny

No more unspoilt anchorages and wild beauty to be found here. I guess I will have to travel considerably further to find that, if it still exists!

My musings are interrupted by laughter prompted by the antics of Danny and Luna, (the bars avian celebrities). Danny has an extraordinarily large vocabulary but is currently amusing the crowds by meowing like a lost cat and responding to any chuckles with  a mad cackling of his own.

I'm next!

Well tended gardens surround white sandy beaches and a plethora of holiday makers gorge themselves at the restaurant bars overlooking neatly arranged rows of sun beds and beach umbrellas.

The fit are busy keeping that way in what looks to me like a playground for eight year old children.

The not so fit wile away the hours window shopping for trinkets in air-conditioned comfort, sheltering from the spate of unseasonably warm weather under the ever watchful eyes of bronze wilder beasts.

It's evolution!

You either love it, or you hate it. I’m doing my best to fall into the former category, but I’m not sure I’m succeeding.

Frankly, I can’t wait to move on.  Sailors recommending Lanzarote as a destination are surreptitiously sending you to loose weight at what amounts to an exotic health farm come retirement village.

But while I’m here I guess it wouldn’t hurt to join in on the fun…

I’m next on the ski machine… 🙂