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!

Rest day in Port du Lavandou

Changing a lightbulb

Changing a lightbulb

The Mistral winds howled through the rigging all night but by morning the tempest had subsided. Despite the improved conditions Eva and I decided stay at port and play tourist for a day and Port du Lavandou did not disappoint (see http://www.lelavandou.eu/port2001/index.htm).
There’s good access to chandlers and sail makers in the port so I took the opportunity to do some basic maintenance, i.e. replace my jack stays, and fix a bad connection on the tri-light which involved climbing the mast, (as I don’t have a bosun’s chair I use my life jacket’s harness to attach a safety line). I felt that taking the mast down in this case was over-kill. Eva found the whole exercise very amusing and instead of keeping the line taught was busying herself taking unflattering photos of me.
Believe it or not, we met another couple in the marina whose sailboat was smaller than Eileen! No small feat in the Cote d’Azur, and before long we had made some new friends, dental students of German heritage but living and studying in France. Over a few drinks that evening it was decided to leave on Wednesday and sail together for a few hours before heading our separate ways. The weather forecast promised nothing more violent than occasional gusts of Force 5 so we expected a leisurely sail.