Martinique and Dominica

andromeda of plymouth
Susan and Andrew Wilson
Sat 7 Jan 2012 20:19
Happy New Year from the sunny Caribbean

Christmas in St. Lucia was fun, such a contrast to last year and we both
managed to surprise each other with a few gifts. Andrew cooked one of his
famous curries on Christmas Eve and the folk from Alberta Crewed joined us
for the evening and then extended an invitation to join them for Xmas
dinner on board Ptarmigan an American yacht that has been cruising all
around the world for over 30 years so the following day we joined everyone
at 4pm for dinner. It was a very pleasant meal with lots of laughs and
jokes and goodbyes at the end as we and Laurie and Craig were heading out
on Boxing Day.

We are not too sure how far Alberta Crewed got but we only managed to make
it out into the bay after clearing out, paying our bills and trying to get
some fuel. We could see lots of white caps and some boats heading in were
going all over the place so we dropped anchor and had a peaceful night.
Tuesday morning we were up bright and early and ready for the fray, and
off into the ocean we went. Still bouncy and windy and we were once again
beating! Once the sails were set and the engine was off Susan was snoozing
in the cockpit letting Andrew enjoy playing with the new sails. The good
thing was that once we got to Martinique about 4 hours later, Susan was as
bright as a button and ready to dash down and answer the radio when a call
came from our friends on Coba Libre (just after Susan had wondered where
about they were). They were in a bay that we were just about to cross so
with no hesitation we changed direction and were shortly anchored up in
the bay and after lunch headed into customs. Very civilised here as to
clear in we only had to sit at a computer and fill in a form, get it
printed and the guy behind the bar stamped it. Frisbee on the beach was
followed by some “interneting” and then back to the boats.

We left Grand Anse for the 20 mile trip up the coast to Port Pierre, from
where we would leave the following day for Dominica. We had problems
anchoring as there was a lot of weed on the bottom but eventually managed
to get secure enough to stay the night. Martinique is a place we plan to
visit when we head south.

An early start saw us on our way to Dominica and 15-20 knots of wind and a
great sail. Our destination was Portsmouth at the northern end of the
island. We decided to leave the anchorage at Roseau until we return.
Portsmouth was the original capital of Dominica until the swamp took its
toll. The anchorage is in a 2 mile bay beneath Fort Shirley. However we
dragged the first night so took a mooring bouy for peace of mind. We had a
great new year here at beach party organised by the boat boys with about
60 other yachties of all nationalities. New Years day saw us taking a
gentle walk to recover from the previous night with Susan recovering from
aches in her legs while having a wonderful time dancing with some very
effeminate French guys who loved dancing as much as she did. The 2nd saw
us taking a tour of the island with Charles who was a very informative and
amusing tour guide. We managed to see most of the island including the
Carib community on the east coast, the Emerald Pool and some fantastic hot
water pools near Roseau – absolutely bath like and Susan and Lesley were
in heaven – we managed to time it so that folks from the 3 cruise ships
left as we arrived so we had it almost to ourselves. Lunch involved a
wonderful fish lunch with really spectacular views of the east coast.
Great value and an enjoyable day – Dominica, though poor, has spectacular
scenery and the ability to grow almost everything. Construction they leave
to the Chinese, who are everywhere the French aren’t. We also bought some
Passion Fruit and made them into a very refreshing juice.

With a buzz from the island tour we next went on a very relaxed tour up
the Indian River, a short 1 mile row by the tour guide as outboard engines
are banned in the extensive national parks. The river was used in the 2nd
Pirates of the Caribbean film as were other locations around the island.
After a mile we came to the end of the deeper part of the river so had a
short walk along the river before heading back to a glass of punch –
Andrew having the local legend, Dynamite, with Susan having a Passion
Fruit one. Andrew, our guide, is one the leading boat boys and tour guides
and was very relaxed and we were never rushed. Andrew and James went and
cleared out of Dominica, getting soaked in the process when crossing the
bay to the customs dock and we also made arrangements to get fuel, early
the following morning for the trip to Les Saintes. We hope the photos do
the island justice as it is very spectacular place, particularly the

Leaving early to get the fuel we decided against going up against the dock
as it would be blowing us on in 25-30 knots of wind – not a sensible thing
to do – so we continued north, well reefed down and still doing 6.5 knots
which for us is very good. Arriving around lunchtime we welcomed Lesley
and James who arrived about an hour after us and came ashore to clear
customs. Terre d’haut is a very French and very pretty small town with
numerous mooring bouys and somewhere where you can get croissants and
french bread delivered to your boat in the morning – wow!

Photos and more in due course,
Susan and Andrew
S/V Andromeda of Plymouth
Les Saints, Guadeloupe