Dominica to Martinique (Anse Mitan, Marin)

Imagine Of Falmouth Online Log
Jon Constantine
Wed 4 Jun 2008 17:01

Monday 2nd June 2008  

Departed Dominica early, for us anyway, at 07.30 as it is over 50 miles to Martinique. Once we left the shelter of Dominica, the wind picked up to 23/24 knots and we had 2 reefs in the mainsail.  Did not use the autopilot much as we are having battery problems again and the voltage is dropping quickly to 11.5 volts at which point the autopilot cuts out.  However, with the easterly trade winds now on the beam it was fun to sail the boat without using the autopilot.

Arrived at Anse Mitan at 18.00 hrs.  A big wide open anchorage with a channel through the middle used by the ferries who didn’t slow down causing a large wash as they went by making us roll horribly for a few minutes.  Too late to go and clear in with customs but as Martinique is a French territory, there is no problem.



Imagine up and to the left of the yellow yacht                                                                                          Le Ponton   



Tuesday 3rd June 2008

Took the dinghy in to the small marina at Le Ponton.  A very rude French woman appeared to be in charge and simply pointed at the PC in the corner when we asked if we could check in.  Turns out that Martinique operate a “self service” system but this lady was obviously not going to give us any assistance and refused to speak English or attempt to understand our “Franglaise”.  Not a great welcome.  Walked into the town but were not impressed.  It seemed quite scruffy for a French island. Had a beer in a bar by the marina and then went to a small supermarket which was poorly stocked and not at all like the other French islands we had visited.  Went back to the boat and made the decision to leave next morning for Le Marin on the south east corner of Martinique.

Wednesday 4th June 2008

Departed at 10.35 for the 30 odd miles to Le Marin.  Not much wind as we run down the east coast so we had just the headsail out as there was no hurry and the wind was on the beam.  Once we rounded the south west corner, the wind filled in dramatically and we were soon beating to windward to clear Diamond Rock, a tall off lying island where the British had hauled cannons to the very top to attack the French fleet. Perhaps the lady at the marina in Anse Mitan was a descendant of one of those unfortunate French seamen who felt the wrath of the British cannons!!!

As we approached Diamond rock, so did a fairly nasty looking squall and within minutes it was pouring with rain and the wind was blowing from all directions.  Suddenly we were going back the way we had come even though we were sailing on the same tack!  We tacked over and found we could now make the course for Marin – hooray!  There is a strong current running down this coast (against us) and we made pretty slow progress until we added engine power to help us along.



                     Liquid sunshine – yeah,right !!!                                                               Diamond Rock – Looks like Darth Vader’s head to me!!                                        


Marin lies at the top of a long inlet ringed with reefs and shallows and we had to be very careful following the channel marker up to the anchorage. On both sides we could see yachts that had gone aground and were now complete wrecks.  The chart plotter was once again a great help in “seeing” where we were going and we were soon anchored among the many other yachts of all nationalities.



                    Mind the reef – oops, too late!                                                                               Le Marin – very busy anchorage


Thursday 5th June 2008


A very overcast day.  Went ashore today to explore.  Found a fabulous market selling fresh fruit and veg.  Had a free beer in the Mango Bar!  We had ordered our beers at the bar and waited so long at our table before we were then brought only one!  We had to wait so long again for the other one when we pointed out that we wanted two, that the barman said they were on the house.  What a nice guy.  Back on the boat it was a very hot night with a lot of rain.


Friday 6th June 2008


Another overcast day with more rain.  We decide to go to St Lucia tomorrow as the anchorage here is too crowded and not very nice for swimming.  In between showers we went ashore to clear out and to take advantage of the free wifi in the Mango Bar.  Thankfully we ordered and received both beers!  We had to pay this time though….