11 January 2017 | St. Anne, Martinique
Sunny, cloudy, windy, rainy, totally normal
Martinique is a true French country. A few people speak english,(actually probably quite a few do) but French is what you hear everywhere. Divided highways and excellent roads are a complete change from the other caribbean islands. And can you say “Patisserie” with french baguettes, Pan au Chocolate, tarts, goodies galore and of course fine wines for $4. So much for the new years resolution to loose a few pounds. Maybe the next island. We are enjoying all of it.
With new guests/crew arriving it is time to rent a car.
“Lets walk over and rent a car” I said. “Then we can drive around the island, up to the volcano, Mount Pelee and hike it.”
“Sounds good to us” replied Lew and Gwen.
Off we go with Lew leading the way since he had rented one last week when his wife was down to visit. We were looking forward to a full half day of hiking, but our plans quickly changed when we arrived at the car rental a few minutes after 12 noon and were told to come back at 2:30 pm. Any one up for a leisurely lunch with local beer at a nearby beach?
( Guest Author)
Due to a lack of time, Mount Pelee would have to wait until the next day. Martinique is full of well groomed trails with excellent vistas, so a quick look at the map inspired us to head north to a trail in Reserve Naturelle de la Caravelle. Of special note was one of the biggest trees any of us had ever seen. The “fromageo “ tree had roots that rose five feet above the ground supporting a trunk that was 8 feet in diameter.
The next day, Mount Pelee provided one dramatic view after another. At times we were shrouded in cloud cover, and then all of a sudden the sun burst forth revealing miles and miles of lush green valleys and sparkling oceans. Can you say stair master set at the hardest level for one hour, and then reverse all of that for steep decent. The quads are talking and not using very nice language either.
After a later start than planned due to customs being closed for the day and a hunt for the next closest customs office, which required a 45 minute dingy ride both ways, we were finally ready to set sail to St. Lucia. I guess we failed to mention earlier that Martinique was such a great island to hike and explore as well as wine and dine that we never raised the anchor. Gwen got to experience first hand that the cruisers life consists of much more that sailing the sea.
Off we went for a 25 mile sail.
The seas were relatively calm with about 12 knots of wind. With our late start we were forced to run the engine to keep our cruising speed above 5 knots. I showed Gwen some exercises on the boat which she quickly expanded into yoga poses. The added movement of the boat gave her more of a core muscle work out. Jim my new crew mate who arrived the day before just sat by and watched.
We reached St. Lucia and tied up to the dock. Time for Gwen to head home to work and for me to pick up one other crew mate.