If it Were Easy, I’d Have Nothing to Write About
Pests in Paradise

I Can Haz Champagne?

Dear friends John and Dora on s/v Windrifter spent much of the winter in St. Martin. While Dora’s mom visited, they stayed on the dock on the Dutch side, but their preferred anchorage was on the French side and their preferred restaurant is Café de Paris Brasserie at Marina Port la Royale, where Dora has achieved “Captain” status. She’s thinking of offering a non-charter charter service. Here’s how it works:

Dora visits an island she likes (Hint: She likes French islands – particularly those with her name, St. Martin.) She spends a few weeks scouting out cafes, Belgian chocolatiers, restaurants, and beaches and then she introduces others to her favorite delights. Many restaurants in the Caribbean give the Captains of crewed yacht charters a free meal. (Sort of like bus drivers get in Maine restaurants during leaf peeping season.) Dora gets hugs, bussed on the cheek in a very French manner, and welcomed with the best table and service. Those of us in her wake get to enjoy that and more.

Jeff and Sandy from s/v Magic Inspiration had time between charters to join us in St. Martin, and arrived in time for Jeff’s birthday. The six of us dined at Dora’s favorite restaurant – a water-front café, presided over by the handsome Mahmet – which offers an eclectic menu from fois gras, to thin crust pizza,to mahi-mahi, to risotto, to lamb chops. Desserts included many kinds of ice creams and glaces, crem broulet, and more.

So we dinghied in to Marigot, and were greeted effusively by Mahmet. (I love, love, love French effusive greeting – three air kisses, left, right, left.) First of all, it was a great evening because we six were together again to talk and laugh and share our adventures from the past months. Secondly, the wine and food were fantastic. Finally – after dessert – the lights dimmed in the restaurant. Having traveled in the Caribbean islands for some months, all six of us assumed there was a power problem. Then we saw it – a bucket of ice, containing a bottle of champagne, lit by a huge sparkler. 

Happy Birthday, Jeff!  He was delighted, but didn’t want to get close enough to blow it out, and wisely let it fizzle out on it’s own. Our delightful and expert server (“I’m from Italy so you don’t have to practice your French with me.”) popped the cork, and we drank the bubbly.

Happy Birthday, indeed.

NOTE: I neglected to take photos of this event, so I "stole" these from Sandy's Facebook Page.

New to Harts at Sea? I've written a book -- The Harts At Sea Sailing to Windward -- about our first year of cruising, from Maine to Grenada. It's available on Kindle (or Kindle for PC or Kindle for Apple) for only $2.99. No Kindle? You can download Kindle for PC or Kindle for Mac at no cost. 


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Frances Forbes

Dora of Dora the Explorer has not featured champagne in her show because that does not suit to the watchers who are kids and do not know even champagne.

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