at anchor in St. Pierre, Martinique
February, St. Lucia to Marin, Martinique
Aaron - After yesterday's
fuel disaster, today was a piece of cake, even though we
worked reasonably hard for it! Up at 0700 to listen to
the weather and hopefully cop a chat with Tango II. We
sent out the word yesterday on the net that we were looking
for them and Willy on Arbella (Maine boat!) chimed in and said
that T2 was in St. Martin and that he would tell Jim to come
up on 8104 this morn. Dedicated readers will remember
that Jim and Anna on T2 are old friends from Red Sea days and
have a cat named The Beast. We last saw them in Las Palmas
before our crossing.
enough at 0730 I heard Jim's thick Boston accent calling Redwings
Redwings and we caught up. Our first guest for
the Caribbean season She Dog Steph Sheean will be meeting us
in St. Martin on 6 March so we have to be up there by then and
from what Jim told me, T2 will be there too so we'll get a
chance to hang out with them.
hoisted the already 2X reefed main, hauled the anchor, and
headed out just as a 30 knot squall hit. We were cool
and in control though cruising through the anchorage at 8
knots on our way out to sea as we were again expecting the
worst for the crossing to Martinique and everything was well
lashed down. Its been blowing 20-25 (30-35 in squalls)
for days now and today looks like no exception. The
weather dude is not calling for a break till next Tuesday or
so, so its not worth waiting, even though we'll have it close
to the nose.
after we rounded Pigeon Island and were just getting into the
Atlantic swell, I looked to port and saw a boat about one mile
off that looked very strange - it looked like either a weird
fishing boat hauling a huge catch up in a net or a dismasted
yacht. Colleen looked through the binos and confirmed it
was a dismasted yacht. We raced over there and came in
fairly close. The boat was Jazz Time, a blue 45 footer
we had seen several times in the Rodney Bay anchorage and also
heard on the net. The mast had broken just below the
bottom spreader and most of the genoa was still under the
boat. However, the crew of five or six were all in the
cockpit with life jackets and foul weather gear on and the
skipper seemed to be slowly motoring successfully back towards
you OK?" Colleen screamed out from the bow. The
skipper gave us a thumbs up and yelled that they will get it
sorted eventually but it will take a long time and waved us
on. So that was that. Wow. Glad to have the
two reefs in and the running backstay rigged.
then headed up to course and rolled out about 1/3 of the genoa
and started sailing just a few degrees below close hauled just
fetching St. Anne. We romped along at 7 knots for the
whole 21 miles often dipping the bow and burying the
rail. Good to get the water over the boat to help get
the diesel smell off. Mid crossing, a pod of 50 or so
dolphins descended upon us, flipping out of the sea and
cruising off our bow. Beautiful.
pulled into the relative calm of protected bay off St. Anne on
the southwestern tip of Martinique at 1300. We made
it! The conditions of the crossing would have "not
been fun" for an extended passage, but on a short
crossing when well rested and assured a good sleep and meal at
the other end, just a great romping sail.
lunch and a quick clean up, we decided to up anchor and head
further up the bay to Marin, the main yachting center of
Martinique, so we can do our shopping and check in.
Marin is located at the end of a well protected twisty turney
bay with mangroves and reefs on both sides. We dropped
the hook, dropped the dingy, and went in to try to clear
customs. Of course, as this is France (literally -
Martinique is a department of Le Republique) and it was 1500
on a Saturday by the time we arrived, the customs office was
closed. Oh well. Off to do the shopping.
Colleen danced in the aisles as she threw brie, lamb chops,
& tetra-packed long-life cream into the shopping cart I
was relegated to pushing.
February, Saint Anne, Martinique
Aaron - After another windy
night ("Aaron can you check to see if we are
dragging?"), we got up and dingied (is that a word?)
into customs. Of course, we met Farr Ahead on the way
in, our karmic paths crossing once again - we seem to see them
everywhere. Mike and Kitty are heading back to the UK
tomorrow, however, and unless they get held up or we have to
go to the UK, we won't see them for at least a month.
They hope to cruise Maine this summer as well though, so
hopefully we will see them on the way up or in Camden.
clear-in was painless. We took a brief walk around Marin
to see if we could find an internet cafe (no joy) and to
generally scope out the scene. The main feature seems to
be the huge charter fleets. Hundreds of charter boats everywhere! We
saw many of the boats we had seen in the Grenadines getting
washed down and prepared for the next week-long
warriors. We quickly concluded that there was not much
to see and headed back to St. Anne where we anchored right off
the town dingy dock in five meters of clear water. Sand
bottom. Good holding. Less wind close to the
bluffed shoreline. We'll sleep better tonight.
a beautiful town. White houses set along the
hillside. A complete French village with the tree-lined
square (rectangle) where old men play boules and quaint, yet
falling to pieces, Catholic church. Cafes and
boulangeries on every corner. We had a great meal in a
restaraunt overlooking the anchorage (right at the water's
edge, they had a plexiglass floor under the outermost dining
section and you could see the water washing in and out below
over the pebbles and shells) and then took a walk up the hill
to a Catholic shrine on the hilltop. Nice view.
watching the sunset from the cockpit, we heard the Boom Boom
Boom ratta tat tat of drums and cheering coming along the road
from the direction of Marin towards St. Anne.
"Looks like a parade" Colleen said so we dingied in
and sure enough, a "Carnival" parade came into town
comprised of demons, drummers, and dancers. Great
diversion. So far, we are liking Martinique.
Looking forward to my pain chocolat tomorrow.
February, Saint Anne, Martinique
Name - Up and out at 0800 to
rent a car. None to be had - if in St. Lucia for sure
would have scammed to find us one and take a cut wasting lots
of time. Walk mile or so to car rental near Club
Med. Off at 0900 for tour. First stop Hipermarche
- more food. Through FF, on towards St. Pierre, stropped
off Case Pilote - CD says pit. On to Gaguin Museum -
really streching it. Into mountans - views of pastures
like Europe - and down around East Side. Lunch
pizza. Back around to Marin to try e-mail - no luck but
met Bob and Anne on Scallywag (comment), attempted fresh
F&V purchase, Aaron some chandlery purchases, back around
St. Anne for quick drive tour or beach areas. CD took
stuff to boat, AH to gas, miscom, fight. end.
February, Saint Anne to Anse Matin, Martinique
- Up and out at 0830 and took four hour walk around
St. Anne - beautiful beaches. Bread and Brie. Left
St A at 1330 for Anse Mitan. Broad reached with genny in
15 knots past Diamond Rock (comment) and around towards AM
which is across from FF. Anchored next to another P46
Grand Cru! Dingied in to try e-mail - no luck.
Dinner at Fanny's. Generally a "has been"
February, Anse Matin, Martinique
- Visited Grand Cru first thing. Dick and
Dorothy used to have a P44 in the Caribb and kept GC in their
home port of Block Island. Had the boat for 14
years. Exactly the same as Redwings - Formosa 46 built
in 1979 (RW 1980). But some differances. GC
recently had new water tanks and cabin sole put in as well as
new fiberglass decks for reasonable money in Trinidad.
Then into FF - shopping, e-mail (no luck), chandlery,
hardware, shoes - fairly sucesfull - FF good place to
shop. In pm back to GC and they gave us three big bags
of charts and pilots for Bahamas to Canada inc ICW!
February, Saint Pierre, Martinique
Up at 0630 and left at 0700 for FF. Anchored
there at 0730 and made quick run to customs. Saw Yang Wa
again. Quick turn around and on our way all legal by
0800. Sailed with jenny at 4-6 knots downwind in flat
water to St. Pierre.
boats in there, lots of fishing bouys. 20 meters right
up to the shore away from the other boats, so went into
between two, but when dove on anchor, saw chain across an
underwater net. Moved to main back of boats other side
of dock - hey there is Venla! Tried anchoring there, but
dragged. Moved way down to end between last yacht (Moody
Goose from ARC) and more fishing buoys and finally got stuck
in in 7 meters.
came over and gave us the scoop. Into town - visited
volcano museum, ruins, walk through prickly grass to beautiful
falls, back on boat few jobs and then Venla came over for
dinner. As full moon rose, looked out of cockpit and
sway 10-15 sailboats tacking up the coast their sails
illuminated by the moon. A race apparently. Looked
like ghost boats. So pretty. Silent. They
glided into the anchorage one by one through the
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