11 February, 2018: Trois Îlets, Martinique is a bit of a comedy anchorage. We inadvertently anchored in the ferry channel initially (it wasn’t evident) and were quickly (foghorn) blasted along. Even in the right spot, the ferries seemed to enjoy revving up as they passed the cruisers, sending them splashing and bobbing like boats in a bath. I didn’t mind - it was rather like the Admiral firing the canon blast in Mary Poppins -regular as clockwork and all hands to the pumps until the moment passes. We had gone there especially as our friend Charlotte lives on her boat the ANNE BONNY (named after the legendary pirate of the Caribbean) in the marina there, and I couldn’t wait to see her in situ.
The following morning, I woke on my birthday in Trois Îlets, Martinique, to find the kids had laid out the breakfast table with homemade cards, decorated with trapezes and tightwires, silks, sails and stingrays, just the ticket as we circusnavigate the world. A little later a dinghy came over, the crew singing Swedish birthday songs in party hat,s with extra guests drawn in marker pen on balloons for good measure - it was our friends from KAPALAI. They arrived with beautiful picture drawn by Cayenne, a loom band bracelet made by Hugo, and beautifully wrapped in yellow tissue paper with blue and yellow ribbon, there was a Swedish polo neck shirt bringing me officially into the fold! There was more clowning around in the evening when KAPALAI returned with Lars’ sister and family, and a pineapple full of a lethal homemade rum punch and festooned with all sorts of umbrellas and sparkles. We all then went ashore and had supper ashore, joined by Charlotte, fresh from carnival celebrations in the capital Fort De France, who presented me with a black tutu with silver sparkles, which I slipped on immediately in full party spirit. Charlotte said the skirt would come in handy for carnival, and it certainly did…!
According to Douglas Adams, 42 is the answer to life, the universe and everything. Seeing Betelgeuse up in the Night Sky each evening (where Adams' Ford Prefect and Zaphord Beeblebrox are from) when sailing always made me think of that, so getting to this age was something of a milestone. It's funny to think that barely sixth months ago, at points overwhelmed by the magnitude by the journey we had undertaken, I could barely see the wood for the trees, and had to simply take each day at a time. Now, across the other side of the Atlantic, I marvel how far we have come, and, looking up at the stars, life, the universe and everything does make sense. In my book, spending quality time with Xavier and the kids, exploring the world together and making wonderful friends along the way, has opened a whole new chapter in our life together as a family, and my birthday was just another excuse to celebrate, skål!