|Flamboyant tree starting to bloom|
|Fresh French pastries and baguette|
|Friendly neighborhood bull|
|Mr Mac anchored off of Îlet Long|
Our first stop on the windward side of Matinique was Baie du Simon. We anchored just off the shore of Îlet Long, a small island dotted with a few houses. The next closest boat was anchored about a mile away, and we’re not sure there was even anyone on it. That’s not to say that there were no boats. Fishing boats visited the reefs every day, and tended their buoyed pots, and some power boats jetted around on the weekend. We dinghyed in to the local dock to go for a walk. It was an agricultural/residential area, with fields of sugar cane and bananas, the Habitation Clément rum distillery, and an old plantation house on the hill, as well as some small neighborhoods. The best part was the little boulangerie (bakery) just up the hill. We could see people inside laying out the baguette dough, and they had a little counter outside, so we purchased a baguette and a couple of French pastries (when in Rome…). The pain chocolate (croissant dough with pieces of good-quality chocolate wrapped inside) we got here was probably the best I’ve had. We ate the pastries while sitting on the dock, and saved the bread until we got back to the boat. We did some snorkeling here. The shallow reefs were pretty bare, but once you got deeper, they were nice, with lots of interesting life. One reef was curious-looking from a distance, and once we got closer, we saw that it was dead coral covered as far as you could see by hundreds or thousands of sun anemones, which are golden-colored and broad with short tentacles that feel really Velcro-y when you touch them. You could barely tell where one anemone ended and the next one started unless you touched one and it retracted its tentacles. There were lots of fish traps around, which accounts for the lack of large fish on the reefs.