Thursday, May 24, 2012

Martinique ... "and the rain keep pourin' down ..."

The French island of Martinique is the largest of the Windward Islands and it feels that way. Here we saw busy two lane highways for the first time since Puerto Rico. There are many anchorages to choose from with names like St. Pierre and Case Pilot. We sailed along the west coast of Martinique choosing Anse Mitan in Fort de France Bay for an anchor spot. Unfortunately, although the spot was quite pretty and we enjoyed a walk, baguettes and lunch in the Creole Village, we were frustrated with ferry wakes and swells that rolled us through the night. The rain started during the night and all the next day; we'd had enough of the swells and the wakes so we picked up and moved further east and deeper into the bay at Trois Ilets during rain that didn't let up for days.  As we were heading around the corner we heard familiar voices on the VHF: Blue Pelican, Spirit and Caribbean Souls.

Troubadour is in the center of this picture anchored in the muddy mangrove waters -you wouldn't want to swim in this water or clean your boat, but the anchorage was well protected from the wind and swells.

"Oh, the water,
Hope it don't rain all day..."
After several days of gray skies and rain we saw the beauty and charm of this anchorage.
The crews from Blue Pelican, Spirit, Troubadour & Jabiru gathered in town for a bus trip to Marin. We waited an hour for a bus, only to get dropped off ten minutes further down where the road lead to a highway that went to Marin to the south or Fort de France to the north. After waiting for what seemed like hours, we split into two groups Blue Pelican to Marin the rest of us to Fort de France. 

"Then the rain let up and the sun came up and we were gettin' dry..."

While at the malecon in Fort de France, we spot a familiar boat and dinghy... so Peter leaves a note for Cool Change - something about moving to Trois Ilet and having drinks on their boat later - maybe?
"...On the way back home we sang a song
But our throats were getting dry
Then we saw the man from across the road
With the sunshine in his eyes ..."

We took the ferry from France de Fort back to Trois Ilet and all anyone wanted (especially Chris, me and Bobby - admit it) was a COLD BEER! Kachiman was open and looked like a friendly place with a nice view of the bay. So in the pouring rain we ordered beers, and more beers and more beers until we literally drank all his beer! Seriously! He had to close the restaurant because we drank all his cold beer! 

"...Well he lived all alone in his own little home
With a great big gallon jar
There were bottles too, one for me and you
And he said Hey! There you are ..."

After several days conditions opened a window for us to move on. We chose to visit Marin and journeyed to the south coast of Martinique whereas our friends ventured to St. Lucia. While in Marin we planned to grocery shop and do laundry. But first we had to get there sailing around Diamond Rock (the point in the shadow). And as I looked ahead in the binoculars I wondered why I saw a hurdle of water in the distance.

 "...Oh, the water
 Oh, the water..."

Rocher du Diamont (Diamond Rock)
Well that hurdle of water turned out to be steep waves building and breaking against the sea slope as it rose from depths of 2000 ft to 100 feet near this famous landmark. But once inside near the island the waves calmed and we found our way into Cul-de-sac du Marin a very busy and crowded anchorage where we stayed two nights before moving on to St. Lucia.
"...Oh, the water
Get it myself from the mountain stream..."

Troubadour enjoyed beers and French bread in Martinique from May 5 - 15, 2012. We plan to come back next year when the sun is shining.

This post contains song lyrics from "And It Stoned Me" as written by Van Morrison
Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
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