Maison Martinique (Caribbean Court Boutique Hotel)

hibiscus-booths-diningWe started the evening in the Havana Night Piano Bar where the comfortable seating was taken, but we still enjoyed it. It was nice to decompress from the 5.4 mile drive from our house in no traffic. (Turn in the second parking lot entrance.)

This was an early Valentines Dinner and we’ll return. Maison Martinique has had some issues lately, but it has them well in the past now. Between us, we had the shaved Brussels sprout salad with bacon vinaigrette, Black lentil soup with chorizo. Duck breast, and a giant (8 oz) lump crab cake with almost zero filler.

We added a nice Cadaretta Sauvignon Blanc. We finished with chunky mango sorbet and a dark chocolate mini-muffin with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. What should have been hot was. All items were freshly flavorful and well spiced. (Our server was surprised when he asked me if I wanted ground pepper for my soup, and I asked him to wait while I tasted it. He said it was something rarely seen!) Now to be a tiny bit picky. I prefer my duck sliced as medallions, this came out as two spears(?). Also, I couldn’t transfer my bar bill to the restaurant. That’s it. I said a tiny bit.

Our friendly, attentive, well-paced server, Daniel was excellent We had a circular high backed banquette, complete with throw pillows, in the Hibiscus room (left above). Essentially it was private dining. What patron and staff traffic there was was discreet. We didn’t feel on display nor annoyed. Altogether a very nice experience.

Give them a try. Maison Martinique opens at 5:00 pm Thursday through Saturday

Sometimes a Dessert of Words is Enough

HabanaCafeSaw this (below) in the Habana Cafe in Gulfport, Florida last night, after a great meal. Food was spot on. Service was excellent. Dinner lasted three hours. Table was ours. Less than $100 for four pre-tip! Bought the cook book; oh,yeah.

“An indulgence that alleviates stress is often a better choice than a sacrifice that creates tension.”

Whither We Goest?

freq

Blog Posts thru 2014

When we started this blog, our full-time cruising plans were open ended as to all but duration. That, we said would be about 2-3 and then 3-4 years (when we got off to a slow start thanks to the housing market). It has ended up being three, which is where I would have put my money were I a gambler, which I am not.

Would we do it again? Of course. Would we do it differently? Of course. Could we have done it differently? Not really, or we would have. All sorts of factors shaped our cruising. The very best were one another, our boat, Bahamian weather & water. The very worst were much of the ICW and summer marina living.

And now we no longer cruise full time. What does that mean? We live in a very nice house. We travel with a very nice boat. But where?

This part of Florida is not sailboat friendly. We could go up the ICW but we would be in the Chesapeake before we found much sailable water. We can sail offshore to the Keys, where the sailing is offshore and the anchorages are few and the natives don’t like people who prefer to anchor out. Or we could go back to the Bahamas.

Living in a house again, we don’t want to be gone for extended periods. We can’t rationalize the distance, expense, and hassle of the eastern Abacos for just a few weeks at a time. At least with the Keys we could rent a car and come home if need/want be. Also we now live in the “there” a lot of folks are trying to reach each winter. While the Bahamas and the Keys are better than the Chesapeake in winter, They aren’t better than here — except for the constrained sailing here and the clear water there. Perhaps we should winter store our boat in Maine and go there during the hot, humid, lightning-laced* Florida summer. Nah.

We haven’t figured it out yet. It’s not a bad problem to have, but we know we don’t plan to go back to the Bahamas this year. We may give the Keys a try if we can convince ourselves it would be a pleasure not a misadventure (as in rough seas, bad anchorages, official hassles and boat bums).

NLDN CG Flash Density Km 1997-2010

*

Stay tuned.

PS: Interestingly, quite a few of the folks we know who go to the Bahamas each winter are deciding not to this year, opting instead to absolutely pack the local marinas. Even transient docks are being partially blocked by wintering cruisers.

417 Resolutions in One

klaxonstrongIt’s important to remember that virtually every image on TV is put there to bring eyes/ears to ads. The same is true of the Internet and the “services” it enables. This is nothing new; it was and is still true of newspapers. And I bet, if we could go back and listen, we would find several millenia of town-criers who finished up with a shout-out for a pub or a farrier…

What’s the point? Whether the images are acoustic or graphic or textual or a mash, they are chosen and they are written and they are edited to get us to look at/hear embedded or peripheral ads for something. Therefore, the news, the editorials (hard to distinguish these days), live or die on the basis of their popularity not their utility to the hearer/looker/reader.

Stories are killed when they don’t bring eyes/ears. Stories are dragged far, far down the road past boredom as long as they do. And in some cases, non-stories are created to fill the gaps on slow eye/ear segments. Facts are the first casualties, and retractions and apologies, if  forthcoming, are usually found by journalistic archeologists, not the rest of us. And even if factually correct, much of what is offered as news is carnival freak show stuff.

Some media appear to pander to whatever appetite will bring those eyes/ears to the ads. This is nothing new, but is is greatly more visible as technology prevents us from escaping the deluge of drivel. Sadly, bad news sells better than good, and if we are left with nothing but headlines to inform us, then angst is the only emotion we need. (OK, add disgust.)

“Follow the trend lines, not the headlines,” Bill Clinton* is said to have said.

The trends are hard to dig out. They seldom have the neat clean edges of a skillfully crafted eye/ear-grabber. But there is something interesting about trends these days, the majority of them are good. Is there room for them to be better? Always. There is something interesting about that too. There are lots of qualified, committed and seemingly tireless people working on those improvements. But their stories don’t sell ads.

dollarFor New Year 2015, add one more resolution — click on one less lurid eye-grabber each day, and dig into one more trend each week. By year’s end, you will have wasted your emotional energy 365 times less (times the number of ads per look!) and you will have educated yourself 52 times. You will have benefited 417 times. If you pay yourself $1 for each, that’s a pretty positive trend too. Remember:

Look up and not down; Look out and not in. Look forward and not back; Lend a hand! ― Edward Everett Hale

*Also attributed to Bill Gates

Geomagnetic Reversal >> Flips and Flops…

Interesting piece from Archeology News. It won’t affect your cruising plans (much), but it’s part of the out there we all cruise in.

flipflop

[Credit: WikiCommons]

The left side reminds me of the path a dog takes to find a place to rest for a bit, until someone says, “squirrel,” and then it’s the right side.

Bahamas Is Caribbean’s Top Tourist Market Share Loser

klaxonBahamasSome additional context for cruising in the Bahamas. Read at: Tribune242