We’re still in Martinique and kicking ourselves that we didn’t get to this wonderful anchorage sooner – it is so much better than the last two places! We had a bit of a boring 2½hr motor straight into the wind to get here – it is pretty much at the south-eastern tip of the island and the furthest to windward (east) we’ll be for a long time. On the way we passed Diamond Rock, a sheer pinnacle sticking up at the entrance to this huge bay. During the constant bickering between the French & English over ownership of these islands the Brits managed to capture it and run it as if it was a ship standing guard over the main French port in the region, causing no end of havoc to ships putting in here. Now of course we are all good friends and boats of all nations co-exist happily. I was hoping this could lead on to an apposite joke about how French yachties love to anchor badly right on top of you – but they’re been uncharacteristically well behaved around us recently…
It is remarkable how few British boats we’ve seen for weeks now – I know we’re in French waters and you’d expect French boats to predominate, but where have all the Brits that are travelling up or down the island chain got to? It’s been a long time since we’ve met up with other English speakers & we’re getting lonely!
Ste Anne anchorage after sunset: Diamond Rock on the horizon:
The anchorage is a huge area of very shallow water protected from the Atlantic swells and so far unaffected by the winds and currents that made the last place so boisterous. The water is warm (about 26C) and a brilliant turquoise – just like you imagine a tropical sea should look like. The village of Sainte Anne is a good mixture of French chic leavened with more down to earth Caribbean “charm”. So you get the poor, run down buildings as well as decent a boulangerie, boutiques and restaurants. Last night we ate shore and listened to a pretty good reggae band with perhaps one too many planter’s punches in hand.
One of Ste Anne’s many beaches:
So far we’ve had a great beach walk into the “cul de sac” (a huge lagoon) that shelters the main town Marin and this morning went for a great run to the next headland past a mangrove lined swamp. En-route we saw our first mongoose and huge numbers of land crabs (which the French seem to call “crabe s’est ma faute”). We discovered that these are caught in large numbers of ingenious wooden traps dotted all over the headland.
The main square with a handsome church behind:
We’re staying here for another day or two before making our way down to Saint Lucia, leaving all things French behind us for some time (including very poor internet and mobile phone access!). We’ve got a week in hand before our Aussie visitors arrive – maybe just enough time to catch up on the repairs that have come to light in the last few weeks.