On the anchorage at St. Anne / Martinique
From the 13. March until 6. April (Easter Monday) I was anchored off St. Anne. I met my sailing friends Asha and Helge from „Gegenwind“, met new friends Matthias and Katja from „Papillon“ and Susanne and Knut with their guest Eva on „Shogun“ who came back after they had been to Dominica for a week.
We had a nice barbecue on the beach with „Pacific“, „Gegenwind“, „Shogun“, „Papillon“ and me from „SeaBelow“.
Eva and I rented a car one day and drove around the island.
During the whole time I was renovating the fridge. It mostly meant something of like 30 – 60 minutes every day because when you work with epoxy you always have to wait until the glue is dry which you should give time until the next day. To get the plywood for the inner panelling took me two days. On the first day I took the bus from St. Anne to Le Marin (5 km) but could only order the wood at the carpenter. I had to come back the next day which in fact was the Monday after a weekend to pick the wood up. Each trip by bus takes about 1 hour per direction so each trip was almost a whole day acitivty.
I met with Anna from Hamburg in Fort de France who I had contacted via couchsurfing. I was waiting for the Pactor Modem I had ordered in Germany. With a Pactor Modem you can send and receive e-mails via the SSB (Kurzwellenfunkgerät). According to the tracking number it should have been at the main post office of Fort de France since 17. March but when I went there they said it was not there and told me I should go and ask at the DHL branch at the airport. For that day it was too late to go there so I had to come back the next day. But at DHL they did not have the package either and told me to go to the main post office. I said that I had been there already so all they did was to try to call there but nobody picked up the phone and gave the phone number and that I should try it the next day in the morning. So I did but of course nobody picked up the phone either. So I left it until my next visit to Fort de France. Because I had a doctors appointment after Easter I went to the post office then and now they found the package. It probably had been there already at the first time but they just did not look properly.
Eva and I went often to the beautiful beaches of Martinique.
Some days I spent in the cafe on the internet.
Day trip over Martinique
The trip over the island with Eva was really nice, we saw a lot of interesting places. First the church Sacre Coeur, which really reminds of the original Sacre Coeur in Montmartre in Paris.
Then we stopped at a botanical garden where we saw all the tropical plants of the island in one place and they had a tree top walk so we could see it all from above.
Afterwards we went to St. Pierre, the former capital of Martinique until 1902. In 1902 the nearby volcano Mont Pelee broke out and only very few people survived. Mainly because the authorities had no one allowed to leave the town because an election was planned and they wanted people to participate. One of the survivors was a convicted murderer in the jail who was in an especially fortified prison cell which protected him from the ashes and the heat and smoke. The ground walls of the prison and the ruins of the theatre right next to it are the very few remains of the old St. Pierre that can still be seen today.
Then we tried to drive up to the top of the mountain from the west side. The road we took got narrower and narrower until it was only one lane but it was still paved. But we got only 3,5km close to the top. From that point it would have been a two hours walk to the top.
But because it was already 4 pm meaning only 2,5 hours of daylight left, we turned the car around and tried it from the south. We got up to the car park but here the view was blocked by thick fog. This is the case most of the time.
We enjoyed the “view” and because the evening was already approaching we made plans to look for a nice restaurant to have dinner. We found a nice one on the peninsula on the east coast of Martinique.
After the nice dinner we drove back and arrived late at night at our boats.
New crew on board
On Easter Saturday Marco, my swiss crew came on board and on Easter Sunday we spent 1,5 hours diving the hull to clean it from algies, barnacles and mussles. On Easter Monday we sailed the 22 nm from Le Marin to Fort de France and spent the Tuesday there during which I went to the doctor and in the evening we found a really nice bar called “Garage Popular” in the Rue Lamartine 121. It is really only the size of a garage for two cars but it was a nice atmosphere and a nice multi-cultural atmosphere. The place is run by two Germans and they have a second bar across the street in Rue Lamartine 116 where they also have often live music. Unfortunately we found this place only on the very last day.
On Wednesay 8. April we set sail to sail 120 nm to Deshaies on Gouadaloupe.
We had a good wind from the beam (Halbwind) only on the lee side of Dominica and Guadaloupe we some times had absolutely now wind so we fired up the engine and usually after half an hour we nice wind again. So the whole trip took us 25 hours.
In Deshaies it was raining all the time because the clouds climb up the mountain on the east side of the little bay, condensate on the top of the mountain and start to rain.
Deshaies/Gouadaloupe to Antigua
Because we were tired from the night sailing we went to sleep at 8 pm. This was good because due to that we woke up at 5 am the next morning on Friday 10. April and shortly after sun set at 6 am we lifted the anchor and sailed 42 nm to English harbour on Antigua.
We wanted to make sure that we arrive early enough to clear in on the same day because you are not allowed to go on land if you are not cleared in. The customs and immigration closes at 15:45 and because we started so early and had a good wind we dropped the anchor already at 13:17 in the Ordinance Bay of English Harbour.
After a little half an hour and the payment of 94 EC Dollars we were cleared in. So no problem at all.
We strolled around Falmouth, how the place here is called.
Through Trip Advisor we found the bar Mad Mongoose in Falmouth which is a meeting place of sailors and so we first met the Danish couple Isabella and Adolf again who I had met the first time on the anchorage of Canouan in the Grenadines and later we played pool with some young lads of the professional crew of one of the superyachts in the Marina.
With Isabella and Adolf we went to the Shirley Heights Lookout on Sunday evening. Herethey have a BBQ, a steel band and later a reggea band and loads of people, most of them tourist, came there. You have a wonderulf view over the bays of English Harbour and Falmouth and can nicely view the sun set behind the mountains.