Sunday was a day of rest for us as we wound down from boarding and the excitement of the first sail off. While our ship has two jibs, 4 main sails and a mizzen, we motor most of the time with the sails furled. Our day in Martinique was truly lazy with great food and super weather.
Monday we were more ambitious and headed out early for a chocolate making excursion. As we were driven up the hill to the chocolate extravaganza, we passed some of the local color in the town of Castries.
The chocolate making began with how the cocoa is harvested from the pod and the seeds (the chocolate beans) are prepared. We were given aprons and hot pads to hold the heated mortar. A conner of already slightly ground beans, coco butter, and sugar were in the other two containers.
Now the labor intensive process began with the grinding of the beans in the mortar. We ground for over twenty minutes and the beans became liquid. Next the butter was added and the liquid got even richer. We tasted each step along the way and it got better as we labored more and more.
At last we poured the chocolate into molding trays along with almonds. Off to the refrigerator for 20 minutes for hardening as we sampled the local beer and rum punch while touring the shop where local crafts and clothing were for sale.
At last, the chocolate bars of our making were released from the mold and wrapped in foil with our own names on the bars. A wonderful experience and as we returned to the ship, we enjoyed the day’s beauty.