Martinique - Fort de France - 19th -21st January
As we headed west up to Fort de France, we sailed close to the 175 m high Diamond Rock, famous for its role in the Anglo-French wars. The English hauled 4 cannons to its summit to sink French ships making their way to Fort de France. It became impregnable for 17 months and in consequence the British raised the rock to the status of a naval ship, HMS Diamond Rock.
HMS Diamond Rock
As we were approaching Fort de France, the clouds darkened and within minutes we were in the middle of another large downpour. Being in busy shipping area and with virtually no visibility, on went the radar to check for shipping movements. Again after 20 minutes or so, the sky cleared and moments later we were anchored in bright sunshine in Fort de France, the island capital.
Brisk sailing conditions and clouds getting darker as we near Fort de France
Fort St Louis dominates the bay and it is still an active military base. Fort de Franceâs most visible landmark, the Schoelcher Library, is a colourful building name after the Frenchman who had slavery abolished in 1848. The narrow, busy streets are crammed with a mixture of offices and bargain basement shops selling all manner of things, so Pepe and I spent a few hours wandering around and purchasing the odd item, or more, in Pepeâs case! No wi-fi signals were available in the anchorage, so a visit to the internet bar and cafe in town was usually undertaken on most days where tasty lasagne and an assortment of salads were served.
The anchorage in Fort de France â right outside the town
Beez Neez at anchor
Fort St Louis dominating the bay
Michael, Pepe and Bear in Fort de France
The ornate Schoelcher Library
Cathedral St Louis, one of the cityâs most visible landmarks
This street vendor getting all his knickers in a twist!
Pepe posing with new umbrella and other purchases as the boys get into the dinghy