Meanwhile everyone knows by now that we arrived in the Caribbean. As usual our arrival is at Martinique again and it looks like the place has hardly changed. The same warehouses as in previous years, only they finally finished the new road near the harbor promenade.
I wonder when the parking lot for the dollar vans will be finished too. I'm almost convinced that when I dig into old photographs taken in 1993 it is exactly like it is right now, only the bar in the old bus is gone. Or wasn’t there asphalt back then? Oh well, the old parking lot does at least look very different from the new road with its roundabouts.

Oxygen mask

At an ocean crossing the ship is always loaded with a lot of yummy things because at sea it is impossible to buy any groceries of course. When we finally arrive on the other side the majority of this food is gone. The stores area and freezer are almost empty. But the Fore Castle - where we store the waste - is completely full instead. Maybe you can imagine what an empty yogurt cup after two weeks in a closed area will smell like in temperatures around 25 ° C. And because the 60 persons on board produce much more waste than that of course. Only through proper waste separation and rinsing all cups, cans and containers well, we can avoid having to deal with oxygen mask when entering the Fore Castle. We really love to fill that container when it is there for our waste. It does not really matter to us that this waste will go back to France again because Martinique has no facilities to deal with it but I agree this is a bit weird.
With new crew on board, we dropped the anchor 3 miles away and did some maintenance. We also celebrated Christmas. The Christmas spirit here is nothing like we are used to at home and therefore we made sure to observe certain rituals on board.

Freezer problem

In Fort de France we received fresh food on board again and the refrigerator and the freezer were completely filled. It is better to say that the Christmas food moved from the storage area on the ship, through the hands of the cook to finally disappear in our bellies. Despite all of this, the freezer stayed very full and we had to tack tonight. The products in the freezer pressed against the door and the storage area couldn’t be reached anymore because of a blocked door latch. The cook told us that we had 24 hours to fix the problem. Luckily we managed during our first attempt and we were able to get back into the freezer room. We quickly made everything sea-proof again and headed for Bequia, our former course.
13°09’ N 061°17’ W  

about the author

Andi Manser - Captain Clipper Stad Amsterdam

Captain Andi Manser came on his bike to the Netherlands all the way from Switzerland, his country of birth. He hoped to find a job on a yacht. His job as captain on the Clipper Stad Amsterdam is a dream come true.