One geologic feature that we pass regularly in our trips through these
islands is Diamond Rock. It sits at the far west end of the south coast of Martinique. It's 574' high and gets its name from the reflections that its sides cast at certain hours of the day, which make it look as though it's made of diamonds. The rock has an interesting history in that at one time it was officially commissioned as a ship in the Royal British Navy as HMS Diamond Rock (a "stone frigate"). Diamond Rock is in the top picture, below is another view.
In 1803, the British commander in St Lucia (20 miles to the south) was
charged with disrupting ship traffic to Fort de France in Martinique. He
realized that the island was in a perfect position to do that, so during a
period of calm weather, had ships move cannons to the rock along with navy
personnel and supplies. They used lines with block & tackle to move 2 cannons
to the summit and 4 others to caves part way up the side.
After about 18 months of disrupting ship traffic into Fort de France, the
French made a concerted effort to re-capture the rock. After a 2-week blockade, the British garrison surrendered to the French. While it's not mentioned in any accounts of the battle, I had an elderly local guy in Martinique tell me that the French purposely sent an empty ship onto the shores (to break up and sink)but they had loaded it with casks of rum. So the British got drunk on the rum, which made it easy for the French to take an otherwise almost impregnable position.
After leaving Martinique, we had a delightful 4 1/2 hour sail to Rodney Bay,
St Lucia. We stayed there for a couple weeks until we had a good weather window to head south. While the weather forecast was for good winds and small seas, sometimes these islands create their own weather due to the mountain rages running along their length. As we were leaving St Lucia behind, what looked like a nasty, massive weather system came rolling toward us. Luckily, we were far enough south of the island that we missed the effects.
Here is a shot of the sky behind us as we left St Lucia.
While we originally planned to do the 140 mile trip to Grenada in 2 hops,
when it got towards the end of the day we had such good wind and seas that we decided to just continue throughout the night. After leaving St Lucia at 6:30am, we arrived in Prickly Bay, Grenada at 5:30 the following morning. Tired but happy to be "home."
Finally, just a note about our new crew member. Compass Rose is doing good. After one small bout of seasickness, she did excellent for the rest of our trips. She has also almost doubled in weight and definitely gotten much bigger over the past 2 months! Here's a couple pictures of her.
With Gary in the cockpit
And with some of her toys in the salon.