04/03/2011, Martinique, Past Dominica, The Saintes!
We took off @ dusk, missed all the crab pots that are in water off soundings...guess it's the state of overfishing...Another story!
It took us exactly 24 hours from anchor up in St. Pierre, Martinique to anchor down, three times, here in the Saintes and we rested. We finally got the anchor to set, but it appears from the stares and the broken french that we are too close to our neighbors. Our friendly, helpful new friends insisted on offering their assistance with the mooring well in front and clear of them...we stayed the night! We are just down right rusty with the overnight crossings, but all is good! The guide says there are no moorings...so we think we are on a fisherman's light weight mooring...we will have to move, for sure!
We have enough curiosity to follow our noses for the boulangeries, see if the customs office is open on a Sunday...and then just fly the 'Q" flag until we get the news tomorrow about our not clearing out of Martinique!
04/02/2011, St. Pierre, NW Coast of Martinique...
The chain has been down too long (2 weeks, yikes) and the evidence is when it's coming up! Yes, we loved this quiet, sleepy village with great food, even better hiking, and the sea life just exploding for many, many glorious years, we hope! Our newest slogan..."Gotta Go"!
We left a little before 6a, and we headed north for St. Pierre. We will have to keep moving...the weather is cooperating and we can hopefully sail...we even saw speeds of 8 kts this morning, which is unheard of for our wee sloop, but the current was with us and I have shots of the chartplotter proving our claims when we have unusual speeds like this!
We tried to clear out of Martinique but "Le Escapade" doesn't participate any longer. We must go to the Tourist Office instead. A long tirade about the government being unwilling to pay for their services until now so they gave it up! We trekked up the hill to find a big padlock and a heavy bar preventing anyone from entering! It's closed til Monday and we have that weather window for our overnight to Iles Des Saintes.
We Americans are so driven by weather windows...but it works...for us! The French just say 'que se ra" and off they go! What will we do? Just leave, take a bus to Fort de France or wait til Monday! We did the unusual for Altair! We left! We are taking our chances that we will not get arrested...the Saintes are French too, and they, the French, are typically very laid back about this clearing in and clearing out stuff!
Wish us luck!
03/31/2011, Martinique, St. Anne...Still...
We thought we were leaving for the north coast and St. Pierre to check out three days ago...weather still not cooperating until today!
We talked Duncan and Jo into going snorkeling and we'd pick them up when the weather cleared! A glorious day was had by all! Thanks honey...thanks Canon...thanks Duncan and Jo for a great day in the water!
It got pretty exciting, with the best reefs to dive near the channel! The seas were getting pretty rough, the kids hadn't been in open water like this before, but we survived beautifully entertained by the colorful scenery below these stirred up seas!
03/21/2011, We left Le Marin for St. Anne
All we did was check in yesterday and I managed a small hike to tried to remember all the places and routes that my friend Olga showed me!
We wasted not one day before we weaved our way thru this complicated harbor...lots of reefs, lots of obstacles, but totally worth the move to clear water out here at the mouth of the bay and a glorious village that we missed on our way south so long ago!
This is the path, paved and switch backing thru the 14 stations of the cross to the top of the mountain where the statues of both Mary and Jesus are displayed. Dudley is truly amazing and that's what I fell in love with 11 years ago. He's like the ever ready battery and I want to emulate him when I become a septuagenarian. Fat chance me tinks, unless I change my ways!
03/19/2011, Rodney Bay, St. Lucia to Le Marin, Martinique!
We left this morning with the main up @ 5:41a and said goodbye to St. Lucia...and here we are, looking at the NE coast with some weather hovering all around us! We like it blustery...and we got it good! We arrived in Le Marin, south coast of Martinique @ 11a with plenty of time to clear in before siest...and our first stop was for mussels at the Mango Bay restaurant where all the cruisers gather for internet, a cold brew and good food. They bloody speak French...what are we American's supposed to do...learn the darn language ya think? This is where we first stepped onto Martinique, the dingy dock in front of customs. This is the land of flowers, for real.
We want to go to St. Anne, but we need to get some stuff done and it's Le Marin where we will get the water for our tanks, the laundry done, the Super Marche, the Yamaha fixed..right here in the sailing capital of Martinique! If you need to get it done, it's here!
We miss you Olga...but have embraced every hike and every bit of local knowledge so far that you've shared with us two years ago...oooooooh the history, the yoles, the patisseries, boulangeries, the food! We miss you more!
-- Dudley and Bec S/V Altair skype name: dbaltair skype #: 305.600.2308 sailblogs.com/member/altair firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
03/17/2011, Rodney Bay, St. Lucia!
We disconnected from the mooring this green day in a fabulously verdant spot here at Marigot Bay. We are having a very laid back, non-alcoholic version of St. Patty's Day! Hope everybody is celebrating the luck of the Irish, in your green way!
We only have a short distance to go before we arrive at Rodney Bay to clear out of St. Lucia.
We successfully visited Pigeon Island and Barbara, the owner of Jam de Bois and we met Barbara and Bob, SV Crusader, Eunice and Derek of Nottingham and Alice and Alyn on SV Moody Blue there! Jam de Bois is an artsy restaurant and bar, tucked into the end of Pigeon Island, in the park that was once the home of Josset Legh. Very special woman.
We got a visit from Gregory the veggie vendor, pictured here who was very entertaining and nostalgic from 2 years ago and we managed to lighten his boat by buying lots of his delectable wares grown right here on island, including the thing he called a hybrid, mango and melon...darn thing never got ripe!
I got a haircut from Collette, after eavesdropping on April and Deb, which is our radio entertainment should we find the time to get bored...NOT! April giggled when I called to say I was listening, 'because everybody does it' she exclaimed.
We spotted our friends on the gaff schooner, Rebecca, heading for Antigua's Classic Regatta and got invited to tea, so properly English! We're moving right along with Martintique in our sights, literally, and the spot we plan to drop the hook next!
The now famous St. Lucia Jazz Fest in May is going to have to proceed without us however will they?
Dudley and Bec
S/V Altair skype name: dbaltair
skype #: 305.600.2308