Saturday, 5 May 2012
Arrival in Martinique. At last I discovered what is that funny blue
flag with the four serpents on it. We are back in France!
Our sail/motor from Dominica was uneventful and we arrived at St. Pierre in
the North of the island. The anchorage was another roadstead, but a good
muddy bottom and not steep if you remain quite close to the beach. There
are 20 or so visiting yachts. Strange to see so many in this little
village when there were so few in Roseau. The history of St. Pierre is
significant. At one time it was the centre of the French colonies in the
Antilles and was extremely wealthy and sophisticated. The old remaining
buildings have a flavour of Parisian architecture. The town had a
population of 30,000 and boasted an opera house. Then in May 1902 the
volcano exploded and the town was destroyed, killing all the inhabitants except
one who was in the jail. Photos of the event remind one of
Hiroshima. What remains now are the remnants of some buildings and a small
new population. We visit the museum, have a haircut, go to the
laundrette! There’s a nice market place and some restaurants. We
stay a couple of days and then move south to Fort de France.
Thursday, 3 May. Motor south to Fort de France. We anchor in
the bay under the ramparts of the impressive fort. Although
there is a very convenient dinghy dock next to the park, it leads to the ferry
port, the bus station and so on. Ashore its all a bit shabby with lots of
shops selling cheap goods. But there is a very good chandlery and I pick
up a few bits and pieces.
Friday, 4 May. We rent a car and drive over the spectacular mountains to
the interior town of Morne Rouge and on to St. Pierre again to visit the rum
distillery of Depaz. Very interesting and after a little degustation we
come away with seven bottles of rum! We lunch at the restaurant En Vague
in St. Pierre (EUR18 menu, including punch!) then back to FdeF and LS by
1700. Then we up anchor to find somewhere more salubrious and arrive at
Grande Anse d’Arlet just before sundown.
Saturday. Remain at anchor. Wet start to the day but swimming
is good and a nice beach nearby. Very calm. I repair the spinnaker
which had acquired a number of small holes while E bakes bread.
Mmmmm. I couldn’t resist this photo of a unique craft – brought to you by
the same folks that invented the Citroen DS