Christmas at St Anne
28 December 2017 | St Anne Martinique
We couldn’t get in to Marin Marina, so we anchored off St Anne with about 500 other boats. It is a pretty spot so no hardship there. And when we went ashore we booked ourselves in for the Christmas dinner menu on Christmas Day at La Dunette, a pretty restaurant and hotel over the water with its own dinghy dock. We had a little cross-culture communication problem however, as the Christmas dinner was in fact for Christmas Eve - of course! When we turned up for Christmas lunch on 25th after a ham, eggs, baguette and French champagne breakfast on board, we found the special menu done and dusted. Still, the standard menu wasn’t bad, and we were given a complementary drink of rum for the men and passionfruit rum punch for the women. And John had a Buche Noel for dessert, while most of us had an entree that written in French looked like “ferocious lawyer” to us, but was a fish and avocado mousse.
Christmas night we discovered we had run out of water even though the gauge showed three quarters full. Supplies of water were purchased from shore (a boat is hard to find again amongst 500 in the pitch black night) and we filled up again from Marin marina next morning. Then on to a tour of the south of Martinique. The highlight was the Clement rum distillery. It had sculptures scattered through its lovely 16 hectares gardens, two art galleries, all the old buildings and old distillery nicely,restored, the colonial creole house from the 18th century owned and furnished by the Clements and so well adapted to the climate (similar to the old Queenslanders), and four storehouses of thousands of barrels of Maison Clement rum maturing for three years before being put in bottles. We can recommend their chocolate rum.
Our van tour of the south of the island included driving past Josephine Bonaparte”s childhood plantation home. Unfortunately its Museum de la Pagerie (Josephine’s maiden name) wasn’t open. Another highlight was driving along the mountain ridge in the middle of the island, with beautiful views to left and right, one to the Caribbean Sea and one to the Atlantic Ocean. The curator of a pre-Columbian museum we visited in Fort de France told us he met many Australians because they come to Martinique to compete in surfing championships on the east coast where the Atlantic breakers roll in.