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Wednesday, June 19th, 2002
Our Engine Capoops in Martinique

A new day. Albeit a rainy, hot, muggy day- but brand new nonetheless. Why is it that in San Francisco I used to absolutely love the rain, but here, I find it plain old depressing?

We took the boat 'round to Fort de France to clear-in with customs. While we expected to experience the stereotypical inhospitable French attitude, the agents were surprisingly helpful and friendly. A funny little wrinkled man with no teeth was hanging about, and he would chime into the conversation occasionally, but Curt and I mostly just smiled in reply as we couldn't understand a lick of what he was saying. They even directed us to the nearest fuel dock, though when we arrived- they were closed.

We headed across the bay to a pretty anchorage we had found in the cruising guide, Anse Mitan. We had nearly made our way across when our engine inexplicably lost almost all of its power and began to spew gray smoke. We were in over a hundred feet of water so it was too deep to anchor, and as we had been motoring the short distance, we didn't have our sails up to enable us to use the power of the wind to get us safely into the bay. Instead, we used what little engine power remained to cautiously limp in to anchor and drop our hook at the earliest safe opportunity. It didn't take much searching in our cruising guide to find that God was watching over us. A Yanmar dealer (our brand of engine) lay just over the hill from where we sat. Of all the islands, and all the anchorages we could have the unfortunate circumstance of our engine pooping out- Force Five had held out for this one! Once the boat was anchored, I left Curt on board to explore what might possibly be the engine's trouble while I went ashore to find a spot to have our laundry done.

I wasn't gone long, and returned to find Curt meeting me at the rail of our boat with a peculiar look on his face (one of the benefits of getting to know each other while living aboard, and sailing a little boat, is that we find oftentimes we don't need to even speak to know what each other's thinking). I knew from his expression that the anchor wasn't holding- not a good position to be in if your engine's on the fritz. We crossed our fingers and closed our eyes as we attempted to turn the engine over. Again- we were in luck. We were able to re-anchor in another spot and this time our anchor dug in nicely.

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