Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Baguettes, Pates & Cheeses

5th -8th February 2011

Our mileage log read 55miles when we anchored at Saint Pierre on the north west side of Martinique.  It had been a long sail from Dominica and we were very glad to have arrived before nightfall as the bay is littered with over a dozen submerged wrecks some of which lay only a few metres below the surface.

       Monte  Pelee covered with cloud                                                 A postcard sunset

These wrecks  are the result of the 1902 eruption of Mont Pelee which stands 7 kilometers inland. The violent eruption destroyed the town in only 10minuites leaving only a couple of survivors one of whom was in a jail cell.
We will return here later in the year to explore the area and visit the Musee Volcanologique which is said to be excellent.
Reading the trusty Lonely Planet it says that the sunsets off Sainte Pierre are postcard perfect and on que our sunset was exactly that, perfect.
After a good nights sleep  we awoke on Sunday morning to the sound of church bells and the beautiful voices of a choir  emanating  from the town’s cathedral what a lovely peaceful way to start the day..

The day looked overcast with a few squalls around but we decided to head down the coast to the anchorage of Sainte Anne anyway. When we were about halfway across the huge bay of Forte de France we were hit by a monster squall packing winds of 36 knots in complete whiteout conditions.  We had quite a job furling our jib, everything on the rig was shaking violently and we had visions of something letting go, thankfully nothing did. The poor jib looked like a dog’s breakfast by the time we got it away but at least it was still in one piece. The squalls came and went in almost endless succession over the next couple of hours so by 3pm we were relieved to be anchored in the shallow waters of St Anne.
We spent the next couple of days here while the wind blew and the rain poured on and of each day. The town of Sainte Anne is small and nothing to write home about but the bay is very large with a beautiful with sand beach housing the premises of Club Med at one end.

Club med at Sainte Anne

Check in at customs, Douane as it is called in French was once again very easy.
The following day we took GWTW further round the bay to Cul - De - Sac Du Marin for a spot of supermarket shopping so that we could stock up on a few legs of New Zealand Lamb as well as all those wonderful French delicacies that unfortunately do not reflect well when we jump on the scales these days!! It was way easier to take the boat around rather than find a taxi.
Adding Sainte Anne to our growing list of anchorages, we will stop here again when we return from Trinidad.

Supermarkets, Marin: Leader Price has its own dinghy dock and is located in the top left hand corner of the bay; Carrefour is one block further to the north in Commercial centre Annette. ED is located across the road from the Porte du Marin Marina office at the opposite end of the bay and you can tie the dinghy to the marina dinghy dock near the marina office
Formalities: Customs is located on the northern shore of the bay near the chandleries. They have a large dinghy dock at the front. Hours are 7 days     0730 – 1300. No cost and done via computer. They did stamp our passports. Very helpful customs officer, and will give directions to supermarkets. Town maps available from the marina office.

Eating: Deli France and a few good establishments on the waterfront near customs. Sainte Anne, café Coco Peliee near dinghy dock had free wi-fi and good meals.


9th February 2011

The following morning it was time to move on. We made a fleeting visit to St Lucia where we picked up a mooring ball at the end Soufriere bay near Malgretoute under the towering peaks of the Pitons. As the anchorage here is very deep and swinging room limited even when you pick up a ball you still need to stern tie to a coconut palm. Memories of Turkey came flooding back where that was the normal way of life when anchoring in a lot of the bays, mind you in Turkey we tied to pine trees or big rocks not palm trees.

                 Tied to a palm tree with The Pitons behind             

                                                          Fruit seller at The Pitons
The boat boys  who helped us tie up were very helpful and organized, we paid them $ EC 25 for their help, and the Park ranger who arrived just on dusk , memories of Croatia this time ,was also very polite. He wanted $EC 56 for two nights but as we only wanted to stay one night and were leaving at 0730 we negotiated a deal of $EC 20 plus 2 cans of beer and he went away a happy chappie.    



Formalities:  Australians need to purchase a visa on arrival & the cost is  $50 US pp. This is on top of the regular check in fee.

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