To Christmas at St Anne
27 December 2017 | St Anne Martinique
We sailed to St Anne's, which is close to Marin Marina, where we hoped to get in for Christmas Day, seeing it is the biggest and best marina in the Caribbean. We tried to book but were told we were on a waiting list and just to turn up on Christmas Eve. The series of hurricanes has meant lots more boats in the Windward and Leeward Islands as they are avoiding the devasted British and US Virgin Islands.
We sailed past Diamond Rock enroute (in the background in the photo) which has a few stories to tell. The first is that in 1804 during the Napoleonic wars, the British Navy fortified it with cannons and more than 100 sailors, and registered it as the warship HMS Diamond Rock. From this unsinkable ship, the English managed to blockade Martinique for 17 months, before the French floated barrels of rum to the rock, got the sailors drunk, and captured the stronghold.
The second is a lot sadder. In 1830 a ship was wrecked between the rock and the shore. 80 got ashore, all captured Africans. Only 20 were men, as most of the others had been manacled below decks; the remaining 60 were women and children. The drowned white slavers were buried in the churchyard and those Africans whose bodies were found were buried on the shore. The story gets sadder, as the French decided to put the Africans back on a ship and send them to Guyana, even though they were from Guinea. There is now a huge memorial sculpture there of 15 gigantic sad hunched figures, facing the sea.