Born of the Sea

Preparing for a phased retirement on the sea. Muirgen (Gaelic for 'born of the sea')

14 May 2024 | Union Island, SVG
10 May 2024 | Mayreau, Grenadines
09 May 2024 | Tobago Cays, Grenadines
07 May 2024 | Mayreau, Grenadines
05 May 2024 | Mustique, Grenadines
02 May 2024 | Baliceaux, Grenadines
01 May 2024 | Bequia, SVG
22 April 2024 | Saint Vincent
15 April 2024 | Marigot Bay, Saint Lucia
08 April 2024 | Saint Lucia National Parks
06 April 2024 | Rodney Bay / Gros Islet, Saint Lucia
31 March 2024 | Sainte Anne, Martinique
13 March 2024 | Iles des Saintes
10 March 2024 | Deshaies, Guadeloupe
03 March 2024 | Monserrat to Guadeloupe
02 March 2024 | Monserrat

A Week in Sainte Anne

31 March 2024 | Sainte Anne, Martinique
Donna Cariss
On our first full day in Sainte Anne, we went to Le Marin by dinghy, a distance of around 4 miles. We had to avoid the coral heads by looking over the front, after a brief look at the chart before we set off. The close scrutiny, however, allowed us to avoid running over a small turtle which swam right in front of us. We explored all of the anchorages and mooring fields on our way to the marina and on the way back but everywhere was extremely crowded or too deep for our liking. The dinghy dock at the marina (north side) was very crowded but we managed to squeeze through and find a place to tie up. We bought spares for the Jabsco toilet and then returned to the dinghy dock. We were now jammed in and had to lift the dinghy over another to get out. On our way back, we had issues with the fuel hose and lost power right in the middle of the channel. Every few minutes, Pete had to sort the issue out. We stopped in Sainte Anne to do some shopping but ended up have lunch at a bar / restaurant on the beach. I had the peche du jour and Pete had a platter called ' The Beach', which included stuffed crab. This turned out to be a little plastic crab stuffed with crab meat but he enjoyed it. There was a small market, where we bought accras, 7 for €4. These are like bhajis or pakoras, with different fillings. We bought a mixture of onion ones and different fish ones. A couple of red onions set us back a whole 20 cents. In Carrefour, we bought satsumas and granny smith apples; a bit of a treat having fresh fruit other than bananas. Back on board, after dark, a large catamaran came into the anchorage and the guy appeared to be solo, as he was running back and forth from anchor to engine controls. He came through to the inside and ended up very close to the Hunter beside us and a catamaran behind. As the wind had turned from when we had all anchored, there was a good chance he would bump something if the wind or current turned again but it wouldn't be us.
Next morning, quite early, the skipper of the big cat left the boat, with 3 women remaining on board. The boats all turned and the cat ended up only 3 metres from the Hunter, whose owner complained but the women had no idea what to do. It would be almost dusk when the skipper returned and moved the catamaran. We decided not to move. It rained heavily for half an hour, followed by sunshine and everything steamed. Pete went into the water with his scraper and scraped the barnacles and weed off the bottom of the boat, which had been there since Tenerife and were slowing us down. There were lots of little, black crabs living in the weed and when Pete came back on board, there was at least one in his shorts. It rained heavily again in the afternoon. Once it had stopped, we went to Sainte Anne for a drink and to do some shopping.
On Thursday, we visited Sainte Anne again, to do more shopping and have a drink in our favourite bar, the one on stilts, overlooking the anchorage. Quite suddenly, the wind started to get up and there was quite a big swell building, so we dashed back to the dinghy. It was a very wet ride back, into the waves. The yacht had turned through 180 degrees and was bucking in the swell. It wasn't clear whether we had dragged the anchor or whether it was just the change of direction and the extension of the chain that had changed our position. Everyone was on watch for the next couple of hours. At 1815, just before sunset, we re-anchored, changing the anchor from the CQR to the Delta, which should cut through weed better. We were nervous after dragging twice in Portsmouth. Pete quickly snorkelled to check that the anchor was in and put the chain around a rock. We lifted the dinghy and engine on the side of the boat, using the main halyard and settled in the cockpit. Some Bretons, who had anchored a little earlier, using a kedge anchor, pulled up the anchor and left. We were happy about that, as they were never going to hold with that anchor and so little chain out. When it was fully dark, we could see luminescent creatures passing the side of the boat. They appeared to have a bright green light on their tip, with silvery luminescent bodies. There were quite a few of them passing for around 10 minutes. We have no idea what they were and we didn't see them any other night. It was the start of the bank holiday weekend and loud music played all night, from somewhere in the trees behind the beach. It remained calm overnight.
Good Friday morning, the sea was like a mirror, so we went for a swim. The water was so clear that we could follow the anchor chain all the way to the anchor and see it clearly without a mask. We went to look at the beach just around the headland but it was shallow and rocky, so we didn't take the dinghy ashore. There were a couple of cats anchored but well out from the beach. We spent the rest of the day on board, relaxing and reading. With some cloud and the cockpit facing north, it was lovely and shady. We could now see clearly that there was camping in the trees behind the beach. The music started again in the afternoon but didn't go on all night this time. They played a variety of music, so some of it was rather good to listen to.
We planned to sail to Saint Lucia on Easter Sunday, so on Saturday we had to go to Le Marin to clear out of Martinique. We decided to catch the bus from Sainte Anne, which was easy enough. The female driver was friendly and helpful and dropped us at a stop where we could walk down the hill to the marina, which is outside the town centre. As soon as we arrived at the marina, it was clear that we were in a different place to last time. Here there were several chandleries, bars, restaurants, an Auchan supermarket and many other shops. There was also another, much larger dinghy dock. We cleared out at the capitanerie and bought a St Lucia courtesy flag and some sikaflex from a chandlery. We messaged Peter, from Ocean Deva but they weren't around, having hired a car and gone exploring Martinique for a few days. We went to Le Double V for lunch and had some real meat for the first time in ages. I had steak and Pete had duck. It was delicious and not too expensive. Next stop was the Auchan, where we bought lots of French cheese. Then we walked back up the hill to where the bus had dropped us off. In my best French, I asked a young lady, 'Qu'est-ce que vous m'aidez?', then asked her where the bus stop was for Sainte Anne. She told us it was back down by the marina somewhere but she didn't know exactly where. So, she decided to take us to the previous stop, near the bus station in Le Marin; good of her as it was out of her way. All in all, we walked about a mile and a half to the bus stop. Once on the bus, we headed back down past the marina, the north side where we had been in the dinghy and then the side we had been today and just beyond the Auchan, the bus stopped. We had walked around in a big circle, only to find the bus stop was across the road from where we started!
Back on board Muirgen, we completed our SailClear notification for Saint Lucia customs and attempted to complete the new online immigration forms (travelslu.govt.lu). However, these are really aimed at people arriving by air or on a cruise ship and we were stuck at the request for a local address and telephone number. I took phone screen shots to prove we had attempted to complete the form and where we had come undone and then we gave up. We prepped the boat for the next morning's departure. The winds had returned to the east and it was quite breezy, with a bit of swell and we were bouncing up and down, with the anchor chain grating on something, telegraphing the sound into the forepeak cabin. With that and the music until 2am, we didn't get a lot of sleep. We were up at 0715 hours and ready to depart at 0750 hours, earlier than planned and were off to start the next chapter, Saint Lucia.
Comments
Vessel Name: Muirgen
Vessel Make/Model: Westerly Typhoon
Hailing Port: Hull
Crew: Donna and Peter Cariss
Muirgen's Photos - Main
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Photos of Muirgen preparations
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Created 23 June 2017
Photos are limited as the weather was dreadful and was mostly a white out. Photos are from the phone as too wet to take the cameras.
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Created 19 June 2017
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Created 15 June 2017
The Beautiful Kvitsoy
5 Photos
Created 5 June 2017
Weekend with Hommersak Divers at Kvitsoy
8 Photos
Created 5 June 2017
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Created 30 May 2017
Mad creatures
16 Photos
Created 29 May 2017
Getting to Norway and waiting for Donna to fly out
6 Photos
Created 18 May 2017
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Created 6 December 2016
Buying Muirgen
6 Photos
Created 26 November 2016