Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Martinique and On to St. Lucia

Sat. June 7th.
With deciding to stay just the one night off Dominica we were off our mooring by 0520hrs.. We did not get much sleep last night. A house a few hundred feet from us had a party where the music lasted at least until 0200hrs.. We did feel swells in the Bay last night but feel they were caused by freighters passing by.

Randy has reminded me we could be in for not as nice a day today compared to yesterday. We should expect squalls and rain.

0800hrs. Randy did a great job almost missing two huge squalls. We went in between them and got the tail of one on our port side. We both got good and wet. The seas are not consistent--- we get small swells, large swells and then the seas crash into the cockpit.

0900hrs We can see Martinique off our bow. Mt. Pelee is shrouded in cloud. We’re making progress that’s the main thing. Randy dodged another squall. The seas are up to 12 feet. Within the next hour we should have some protection from Martinique.

01000hrs Another squall heading our way. We’re doing 7 knots and then all of a sudden we are be-calmed. We smell “spice” maybe nutmeg in the air?? Now that we are in the lee of Martinique Randy figures we should not bother stopping at the northern end port of St. Pierre. It’s still nice and early and the weather is fabulous. We will continue to Anse Matin which is in Baie de Fort de France.

1230hrs At least 20 dolphins greet us at the entrance to Fort de France. This Baie is huge; probably five miles wide at it’s entrance and six to seven miles deep. As we enter the Baie it is very choppy and cloudy. (due to the Tropical Wave)
By 1500hrs we are in Anse Matin which is on the southern coast of the Baie. We have dropped our anchor in 15 feet of water. Unfortunately we begin to drag as we are on a steep shelf. Within minutes we go from 15 feet to 60 feet so we decide to move and find a nice spot in 8 feet of water. N 14* 33.113 W61* 03.379

We traveled 48 nm today. We felt we had a good day especially sailing 90% of the time.

Sunday June 8th
Checking into Customs was fabulous. We went to the fuel dock, sat at a computer, filled in a one page form and hit copy. We received a copy while another copy automatically went to the Customs head office. Randy signed our copy and the fuel dock manager stamped it. That was it and we do not need to check out. There were no fees. The only near disaster was I dropped a passport onto the floor. Normally that would not be an issue except this floor is of slotted 2x4 construction and I was lucky it didn’t fall through.

We found a great restaurant La Marine where we could do internet as long as we bought a drink. Then off to explore. We decided to go back to the restaurant and have a late lunch so I didn’t have to cook on the boat. No, I am not spoiled.
Martinique will be another one of the islands we would like to come back to for more exploring. Again we need to take advantage of this weather window.

For .20Euro we could use this toilet. It said "Insert required amount, slide door open and slide it closed behind you. After each use this toilet is automatically cleaned and disinfected"

Monday June 9th.

We’ve decided to “stage” for St. Lucia from Petite Anse d’Arlet which is a little further south. After two hours we were anchored in 11 feet of water:
N14 degrees 29.274 W61degrees 04.872
I spent the trip virtually on the bow on “fish buoy watch” It’s been awhile since I’ve had that job. The problem with these fish buoys is they really are hard to see as the fishermen use clear plastic pop bottles.

We also saw a “swimming” crab?? It was about 8 inches in diameter and probably half a mile off shore.

Anchored off Petite Anse d'Arlet. We were the only boat anchored overnight.

There was virtually nothing going on this this tiny clean town but of coarse Randy found the line crew.

We ried to find a restaurant to treat ourselves to lunch, but everything was closed.

Tues. June 10th
We got up at 0430 and were under way by 0500. I again was on bow detail for the first hour as there were hundreds of fishing buoys to dodge.
By 0600hrs we are off of Diamond Rock, Martinique which is our jump off point to head across the 20nm of open water---The St. Lucia Channel heading for St. Lucia.

Manon hailed us and said they and Phoenix III could see us in front of them. Then we had a nice surprise with Tom (Spiritus) hailing us inquiring about the weather. We have not seen him since January in Culebra.

By 1100hrs we were in Rodney Bay, St. Lucia. Our first three times at anchoring we were not in good holding. Randy would dive each time we anchored and said there were so many boulders we were not secure. On the fourth time we were finally in sand, not far off shore.

Again Customs and Immigration are very straight forward. We figure we may be here a week.

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