On our way from South America to Europe, we took the opportunity to stay with Corey’s brother (Andy), his wife (Valerie), and their 3 year old son on a catamaran in the Caribbean. We met up with them for almost two weeks while in Martinique.
Embarrassing, but true; I thought Martinique was one of the countries in the Caribbean. But, it is part of France. It is sort of like Hawaii is to the US. It is an island thousands of miles away from the larger part of the country.
Staying long-term on a boat is quite an adventure! Of course, it is close quarters, especially with seven of us. We were lucky to have very good weather and could spend most of our time “on deck”. The cabin was mostly used for sleeping and preparing food. Although, there were a couple of rain showers that sent us all inside for a short while.
We have always been amazed with Valerie’s cooking. But, even in the teeny, tiny cooking area of the boat, with limited tools and very limited work-space, she still presented beautiful meals. Particularly memorable was the day she went snorkeling and dove for sea urchins which she elegantly prepared to be eaten with bread. It was a little unsettling though, to see the urchin’s spikes continue wiggling long after the urchins had been eaten.
We all snorkeled pretty much every day. The water in Martinique is crystal clear and the vibrant marine life is abundant. Valerie taught us to snorkle-fish. We baited a fishing-line attached to a spool. While snorkeling, we would lower the bait in front of a fish we wanted to catch. We found ourselves trying to keep from catching squirrelfish. These fish are very aggressive and would scoot in and grab the bait really fast; when we tried to jerk it away from them, they would chase it down. They looked like red-snapper, but after being caught, a gigantic dorsal fin would flair out. Audrey even got a small cut on her leg from a fin. Squirrelfish are very difficult to clean and their bone to meat ratio is not worth the trouble. But, they were everywhere and they really wanted our bait. I can tell you it is somewhat hysterical to be fishing and trying not to catch a (certain) fish at the same time.
The island of Martinique is a lively place indeed. I hope I never forget going to a little grocery store where everyone in the place, including me and the cashier, was dancing to the rhythm of Caribbean music. The markets are full of color, sound, and smells! The towns were quaint and picturesque. It is the perfect island vacation spot.