08/07/2012, Marin, Martinique
Even with Ernesto gone & history (for us), we have unsettled weather with another "tropical wave" coming through the area. We had clouds & rain all day today. Tomorrow should be better except for the wind. So it looks like we're here until Thursday morning - at which point we're planning on going straight thru to Grenada (about 180 miles). That means bypassing St Lucia, St Vincent & The Grenedines and sailing for 24 - 30 hours (nothing we haven';t done before).
Our friends from SeaUs (Ryan & Olivia) hung out with us yesterday (Mon). Olivia cut Margi's hair (it was getting a bit long & hot) - see the pic for the final result (there's another pic in the "Friends" picture gallery).
08/04/2012, Marin, Martinique
TD Ernesto blew past south of us yesterday - NO problems here except for a lot of rain, so we had to keep the hatches closed. There was some wind when the squall line came through, but nothing that was exceptional.
Today (Saturday) we're sitting in the marina and doing errands (laundry, provisioning) while waiting for the winds & seas to subside after the passing low pressure system moves west. We should be ready to leave tomorrow for St Vincent - skipping right past St Lucia because of their arcane dog restrictions.
The picture is of the village of Marin, where the marina is located. I also added a picture to the 'Inspiration' photo gallery of us in with all the other boats in the marina.
08/02/2012, Marin, Martinique
As noted in my last post. we came into a huge harbor - a well protected bay - on the SW coast of Martinique. We got a dock slip in the marina here that cost much less than what it would cost in Florida. There is a tropical storm in the western Atlantic that is heading towards the Windward Islands. It looks to move through our area Friday afternoon with the center going across St Vincint (2 islands south of us). It looks like we may experience 40-45 mph winds - not a big deal when we're well secured in a very protected area.
We ran into Ryan & Olivia (from SeaUs) coming out of one of the stores next to the marina. It's amazing how we've been able to find the other boat sometimes!
Picture is of Windy in her "guard position" with Inspiration tied up in the marina
08/01/2012, 14 28.74'N:61 04.79'W
We left our Roseau mooring at 8am today (Tuesday) and headed off for Martinique - about 35 miles away. Approaching the northern-most anchorage around 1 pm we decided to continue on. We ended up in a small, semi-secluded bay about 3/4 of the way down the west coast of Martinique called Petite Anse D'Arlet. We thought that we would have decent sailing weather Wed and excellent weather Thursday & Friday. That would get us past St Lucia to St Vincent and then into the northern Grenadines, which is a long string of small islands just north of Grenada.
But then we got the latest weather forecasts from our weather guy (Chris Parker). It seems there is a "disturbance" in the Atlantic that is heading for the eastern Caribbean. There's a chance it will pass over Trinidad (staying way south) as a
disorganized low pressure system (so squalls to 40 mph & rain). There's also a chance that it will get better organized, head more NW and strengthen into a stronger storm (possibly 65+ mph winds). The problem is that there are no good sheltered locations to wait for a storm to past south of Martinique until south Grenada. So we're heading tomorrow to an extremely well protected bay (surrounded by high peaks) at the south end of Martinique. we'll sit there - possibly at the marina so we can get some work down - thru Saturday or Sunday (whenever this system passes by).
On the other hand, once we got away from our mooring today we were able to sail all the way to our present anchorage. There were some places where we needed an engine to augment the wind when we were blanketed by on of Martinique's mountains. Also, Margi commented yesterday hgow we had not seen a dolphin since Puerto Rico. Leaving Roseau today, we saw a single dolphin as we motored out. Then, between the islands, we came across a group of 6 or 8 that swam with us for a few minutes. These were smaller than the commonly seen bottle-nose dolphins in S Fla or the Bahamas and had a greenish coloration. Still, it was awesome to see them!
Picture is of Mt Pelee - very north end of Martinique
We moved from Portsmouth in the north part of Dominica to the south end - Roseau - yesterday. A front moved through last night & today with lots of rain & wind from all directions. Tomorrow (& hopefully Wed) are supposed to be "ok" days with Thursday & Friday excellent days for sailing south. With us being late getting to Grenada now, we've decided to step up the pace a bit.
We leave for Martinique tomorrow morning - heading for the NW coast (about 40 miles). Then to the SW coast (about 20 miles) on Wed. The next island south is St Lucia, which is extremely dog unfriendly. So we're planning on skipping it entirely and going directly from Martinique to St Vincent (about 85 miles). From there, it's through the Grenadines and then to Grenada.
We were in Dominica in the mid-90's for a scuba diving vacation and thought the island & people were wonderful. On this trip we've interacted with lots more people and have found the people absolutely wonderful. The official policy is that they don't like/approve opf dogs, yet anyone who has seen me walking Windy has shown NO problem with my having her with me (always on a leash of course).
07/29/2012, 15 34.86'N:61 27.74'W
We hauled anchor at 8am and motored out of our "private" bay, past a couple smaller islands and headed for Dominica. Going mostly sideways to the wind & seas meant sailing faster while not pounding directly into the waves. Once sailing on the 18 mile leg, we made 6 - 8 1/2 mph towards our destination. We pulled into Prince Rupert Bay / Portsmouth, Dominica before noon and cleared customs by 2pm ($15).
We were greeted upon coming into the harbor by one of the "boat boys" - really a guy in a 20' working boat with big outboard. We told him we were interested in a mooring, mso he roared off & then met us when we got in - and helped us pick up one of his moorings ($10/night). One of his "assistants" had fresh fruit (we got some avocados & a native fruit that will be ripe tomorrow). He also went & got a bag of ice for us.
Then, SeaUs shows up! Turns out, they have been here for 2 days - we just didn't recognize their boat and had thought they were way further south. So we had a fun re-union finding out where each of us had gone. They are leaving tomorrow for Martinique - about 65 miles. Tomorrow (Sunday) should be ok for travel, but then next couple are not going to be good. So as much as we would like to hang here for another day or 3, we're leaving tomorrow for Roseau - most of the way towards the south end of the island.