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24th January, 2020


I’m not far from my bed, it was a short night last night -  in bed for 0100 this morning and an early morning call at  0500, this morning! It’s all worth it, yawn,  to take this ship to such fabulous destinations for my ‘flock’ to enjoy. 

So what happened this morning? Nothing really, all reasonably straight forward -  but I did get ashore today… hooray! Denis, my little Staffy, drove in this morning. The weather was fantastic, blue skies, breathless, yes I know, you are getting sick of hearing the same story.

We embarked the Pilot at 0630, sun was up just at the moment and the metropolis of Fort –de- France lay ahead.  What a smashing Pilot, Veronique.. a very lovely and talented lady. I did invite her for lunch, but she declined, good job otherwise the tongues would be wagging. Just love the way Caribbean-French speak, a super soft and round accent. Anyway, back to driving…

Denis had to swing the ship off the west end of the pier, before backing down to the berth. We had the inside berth because of a 600 passenger vessel was scheduled for  later in the day, need I say more -  but that size of ‘boat’ is not for me. Nice little manoeuvre by Denis  under the watchful eye of lovely Veronique.

We were all ready, clearance, gangway, quay organisation et all,  for Guest to go ashore an hour ahead of the brochured time. Why, because we were asked to arrive early by the Port Authorities. The question asked but no explanation. You know how it can be, sometimes a peaceful life is just accepting things for what they are.

Talking of ‘peace’, it was a peaceful day until 6000 passengers arrived on the opposite side of the pier. In Martinique it a narrow finger pier, about 250 meters of walking.  My ‘flock’ had the ruled the ‘nest’ until the ‘other’ ship arrived -  then it was chaos on the quay side. I had to dispatch Sarita, the Security Officer, to advise the ‘other’ ship to get organised. It worked out in the end, but by Jove, 6000 extra Guests ashore sure makes a town busy.

I had a ’hot’ date with the Cruise Dictator, it was about 36 degrees in the shade, it was that hot… lol.  We popped ashore for  a late lunch, just in town. Found a typically ’local’ spot just one block back from the front line, not much to look at but it was full of ‘locals’.  A restricted menu, but it was gorgeous French-Caribbean cuisine.  It was good to ‘shoot the breeze’ for a few hours with Jo, then we strolled back. Jeepers, it was hot!

Being  bit burnt on one side of my face, because I sat eating in the sun (daft or what?) we readied ourselves for departure. The pilot embarked at 1730, alas it was not Veronique, and we lifted of the berth, JT the 3rd Officer driving, at 1800, on time. A straight forward manoeuvre and we were on our way to Bridgetown.   A change in the itinerary from the Port of Spain.

Now I am ‘defo’ going to bed, no functions tonight,  so an early night for Captain Eternal Sunshine as we made passage for port of call number ten, in as many days.

Captain Stuart Horne 

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