January 2020

Arriving at Martinique from the Cape Verdes felt like a victory. I was sailing between the islands of St Lucia and Martinique, admiring the West coast which was beautiful. Ellen and I planned a visit three years ago but we had to cancel this trip because Ellen broke both her wrists. And now, finally here! I contacted Ellen by whatsapp. She was so happy to hear my voice again.

Now I really would like an easy anchorage. I heard this should be easily found at the capital, Fort de France. In the large bay I settled in a small place below the big castle.

The fort protected me from the wind and I had a big city at hand, that’s convenient.

It is nice when there is no need to be on watch all the time, just being lazy. If you go to sleep for the night, the next morning there is a new day with a different mindset, but if you only sleep for two hours max like during the Atlantic crossing, the time just goes on and there is no new day, it just all continues. So I stayed here for a week to pickup the normal rhythm again and had fireworks on first row.

The time zone to me is a feast! Here it is 6 hours earlier than Greece. So instead of my usual bedtime of around 01:00AM, now my bedtime is easily 22:30 local time. By that time I am really tired! So an early rise is easy now!

The strong winds calmed down in January already, so I could sail around the southern and eastern side of the island in small steps and enjoy the scenery. Martinique is so beautiful, with nice people, lush green coastlines and convenient bays to anchor. The French language is also much better to me, after Greek and Spanish. Now I could have some small talk, even if they do not speak English at all, which is the case quite often.

Prices are incredible though. In a Supermarket 5 euro for a kilo of onions, for example. But the city is very nice with few tourists.

I sailed to Le Marin, a place very popular among sailors. It is my rough estimate, but I think at least 500 boats are on anchor in this large bay.
But then there are workshops and nautical stores. A windy place though and I stayed on the boat for two days to be sure she was laying safe before discovering the village.

From Le Marin I went around the corner to the Atlantic side. Here are reefs and lots of small Islands. I discovered a safe bay in the middle of the Atlantic coastline with a village called Le Robert. Here I will wait for Ellen to arrive. The airport is just 10 km away.

The bay is quite large with lots of nice places to stay, so a convenient place for Ellen to adapt. She brought sugar candy she got from my brother. That is very sweet of him!

After 4 months it was very good to have Ellen around again! Often when I came across something very nice or out standing , in my mind I was showing it to her and later sharing it by phone, but now she is here and we can enjoy it together!

We went strolling around the small village with all the colonial buildings, the African touch and of course music. The next day we sailed to a quieter place in the same bay.

Flat water for a change, mangroves, which are very impressive and still clean enough to take a swim.

But I had a nice surprise for her.
When I first entered this bay, I came across a very small, but beautiful island. It’s an island you imagine when you are thinking of a deserted island in a movie. It is called Loup Garou, meaning werewolf.
The only drawback, it is lying just at the edge of the protecting reef, so big waves. But the wind was kind to us and we had a nice sail to this island.

Ellen was eager to visit this island, but that is not allowed and you can easily guess why. This is a very fragile piece of nature and a protected area.

But then, the reefs have so much to enjoy. I managed to manoeuvre between all these shallow waters and we found places with crystal clear water, small beaches and mangrove forests.

The weather is something I am getting slowly to know. It is the tropics, so every now and then, there is rain, but only for a short period of time. The temperature is always between 25C to 30C. And the water is something of 26C. For me that is the best! Summer and winter have no big difference, except in summer. Then you can get heavy storms and even hurricanes. They also bring lots of rain.

Crystal clear water
Lots of small islands and beaches

It is easy to see why the Caribbean is one of the best places to visit by boat. And on Martinique you are still in Europe. That is nice for my phone bill!
We sailed along the Atlantic coast behind the reefs, so no big waves. The last part though, the reef stops and so is the protection from the big waves.

Besides that, there is another thing to watch out for. There are lots of fishing nets and cages marked by very little transparent plastic bottles. Even me standing in front all the time watching and still missing some. When the engine is running this mess gets into the propeller. And there are a lot of these, I mean dozens in small areas.

Soo many people are involved in fishing!

What you see in front are conch shells. The big ones, that can only be taken out of the country in a limited number.

Around the South corner of the island there are two small bays and should regularly be visited by turtles. For us that is a must see.
The snorkling was nice with corals and lots of small fish, but no turtle in sight.

We left for Le Marin. Before you enter the bay there is an anchorage area with a large beach. We liked to feel some solid ground and found a nice shabby place right on the waterfront.

Next stop is Fort de France. The capital. Here we will hire a car and discover some of the inlands.

Next . .

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