Seven Days at Anchor
Cato, You Fool! Or -- The “Bimps” Along the Way

Life in France, UFO’s, and Popcorn


It’s been an exciting week in Pointe a
Pitre, where all the women are strong and the men are good-looking, and the
anchorages are above average. La Luna is still happily at anchor just outside
the marina at Bas du Fort. The anchorage is a bit bumpy because the power
boaters are without clue regarding waves and wake, but it’s close to the dock
and we’ll stay here until the refrigeration is repaired, and then we’ll move to
a quieter spot across the bay.

In the meantime, EW has seen a doctor
because the bug bites continue to poison him and he now has an industrial strength
antihistamine that seems to help. I had an infected root/gum under an older
crown, so I’m on antibiotics and had a root canal on Thursday. This is all
proof that real life goes on during the cruising life and that we all just have
to make adjustments along the way.

The dentist speaks English but his
assistant does not, so bi-lingual Ariane from the marina actually book my first
visit for me. After the diagnosis, I agreed to be available for a last minute
“rendezvous” when someone else cancelled. (Isn’t rendezvous a wonderful word
for appointment? Having a rendezvous with my dentist sounds much more fun than
having an appointment for a root canal.) The other morning, my Guadeloupe phone
rang, and when I answered I heard a young lady speaking French. I replied,
asking for English, (with a French “please”) and she continued in French. We
have been talking with a number of service providers, but all of them have some
English -- except the dentist’s assistant --- so I assumed she was the caller
and interrupted the next multi-sentence French onslaught.

Barb: Dentist?

Stephanie: Oui

Barb: Rendezvous?

Stephanie: Oui

Barb: Day?

Stephanie: In French to someone else then
back to me -- “Tursday.”

Barb: Oui. Thursday. Time?

Stephanie In French to someone else and
then back to me -- “NINE”.

Barb: Oui. Thursday at Nine. Merci.

We got ‘er done.

On Friday, EW took me by dinghy to our new
favorite laundry and dropped me while I did two loads. These European machines
were different than the European machines in the Azores and Canaries, so
there’s always much to learn. Since this laundry is in a local neighborhood,
all instructions are in French only. EW and I had been there with a lot of
laundry after the Endurance Crossing, so I pretty much knew how things worked.
After loading the machine one inserts the coins or bills into a machine on the
wall, and then presses a button with the number that corresponds to one of the six washers or two dryers, and that starts the machine. 

This time I was joined by a West Indian
gentleman who spoke the King’s English and French. We were delighted to find that he is Baba and
I am Barbara, which called for an exuberant high five. We chatted about jobs,
kids, countries, languages, and the Caribbean, and were joined by a very happy whom
woman EW and I would describe as a “UFO”. A UFO is an Unfortunate Fashion Option, and
they are much more prevalent these days due to the patterned leggings or tights
that are worn (for some reason) more often by women of a certain size -- about
three or more sizes larger (and 30 decades older) --- than those who should be
wearing them. This lady, who never gave her name to either me or Baba, topped
her flowered tights with a barely held up strapless top. Her nails were over an
inch long and two toned purple and green.

She only spoke French and would converse
with both of us, laughing often, and didn’t seem to care that I couldn’t
understand a word she said.
After she left, Baba told me that she had decided
to “take her break” after walking past the laundry and seeing “this beautiful
white woman.” It was a moment. Considering the events of the past two weeks, my
still slightly swollen jaw, and my laundry day attire, I’m not sure even EW would have
called me beautiful at that moment. The best I was going for was clean.

With all that’s been going on, we gave up
on decorating for Christmas and EW actually had to admit that he hadn’t even
purchased any stocking stuffers for me before leaving the Canaries. At that
point, I didn’t care. While shopping
downtown, we had wandered into a very nice natural clothing store and decided
that Santa would purchase on item for each of us -- getting EW off the hook. I,
however, had met up with Santa in the Canaries so was able to surprise EW last
night for our first Friday Pizza and Movie Night in weeks. As our dear friends
Lynnelle and Rhoda know, one must have popcorn on Pizza and Movie Night, and
while shopping in Lanzarote I had found plastic, reusable, popcorn canisters
like the ones you get at the theatre. I purchased two for the boat as a gift
from Santa and EW was surprised and delighted.

Those familiar with our Christmas stocking
tradition will know that EW is usually the king of filling the stocking. This
time, I win. It may be by default, but I win.

NOTE: Strong, free Wi-Fi is available at
the marina, but my laptop battery isn’t charging and I can’t plug it in there,
so this is going up via a thumb drive and a computer at the local hotspot
business – one that has a French keyboard. I haven’t totally given up on
photos, but need to work out some kinks here.
Barb Hart

Sailing. Find out where by going to:

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