Cruising Martinique

Marin was a great anchorage and the Leader Price supermarket was a useful find, having its own dinghy dock to which trolleys can easily be taken, meant a heavy load of bottles and cans isn’t a problem!

The internet café is within 5 minutes walk of the marina and also has a launderette, so you can do the washing as well as your emails. The owner speaks perfect English and is very helpful.

View of Grande Anse d'Arlet from Beyzano

We had a quick sail from Marin past Diamond Rock, which the British occupied to annoy the French but looking at it you can’t imagine how they managed to get cannons up there as it is sheer and small. Napoleon had to send troops to salvage some of his pride as the rock is very close to the mainland.

Sailing Towards Diamond Rock

We sailed with just the genoa up the coast to Grande Anse D’Arlet, a stunning bay with the clearest turquoise water teeming with fish and for the first time we could snorkel over our anchor to check it was dug in, even in 7 metres. This was our second attempt at anchoring though due to the countless lobster pots littering the bay and we had to cut off one pot which had fouled the anchor and narrowly missed getting another in our prop. A night entry would be difficult just because of the pots but there is nothing else to avoid.

Grande Anse Anchorage from the Beach

The number of wrecked yachts is very sad to see, another 2 being on the northern shore of Grande Anse.

Wrecked Yacht Ashore

We dinghied ashore to walk along the beach which was quite busy at the weekend with day trippers from Fort de France. There was still plenty of room at the many beachfront restaurants though. Every day we swam, sometimes at 7am but often throughout the day to cool down. Tony and Hazel from Longbow came over for sundowners one evening and we could happily have stayed in the bay for ages. On the way back south we probably will!

A fast sail in up to 31 knots of wind yesterday, took us to Fort de France, the main city. Our anchor windlass is slipping again and now we use it all the time we want to get parts to rectify the problem. In Chris Doyle’s sailing guide he rates Sea Services but they didn’t have much in the way of stock, so we may have to return to Marin and the chandleries there to get everything we need. Fortunately we still have 3 weeks to get to the BVI, plenty of time.

Fort de France Anchorage

The anchorage is very pretty, with a fort providing shelter and a very long purpose built dinghy dock by the beach. There are ladders and metal hoops along it for locking the dinghy up and easy access.

Rob Waiting for the Taxi - Jack & our dinghy!

A cruise liner dock is just behind us, one huge ship just left and glided very serenely into the sunset. Robin and Sue from Halsway Grace are also anchored here, so I zipped over in the dinghy earlier to say hello and we spoke to them and other ARC boats on the SSB net last night at 6pm. I am looking forward to exploring the town today but for Wi-Fi we are currently sat in McDonalds!

Another Lovely Anchorage - Free of Charge

The watermaker duly behaved, having been fitted with the new filters and made us over 100 litres to top up the tank yesterday but we are now wearing as little as possible, not because of the washing but because it is too hot. All the t-shirts we have may be cotton but unless they are very light, they are just too heavy and hot to wear.

We swopped over our last genoa for the smaller one today as it has a better shape and the wind wasn’t too strong for a change. Next we have to find the parts for the windlass as none of us relish pulling up 30 metres of chain by hand. Once that is sorted out we will carry on north to St Pierre for a night before crossing to Dominica.

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