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South West Martinique

Posted by on April 30, 2018

Woke up to a dreary, rainy day this morning and thought that it would be a good day to get something posted on here. The last week has been pretty busy for us. We’ve visited five different anchorages and explored some of the most beautiful places in south west Martinique. For now our home is near a town called Le Marin.

Our newest adventures started at Anse a L` Anne a small beachside town that is across the Fort de France Bay from where we were last. It was a short hop across the bay to a whole different experience. Gone were the noises of the city and now we had familys laughing and playing on the beach in front of us while gentle waves pushed on the shoreline. This is a vacation resort town. There is a ferry that runs here throughout the day and it did get the boat rocking some but nothing like in Fort de France harbor where there were several running all day long. Talk about bouncing around, we did a lot of that there! We could happily tolerate one ferry here. The beach was beautiful and there was an abandoned Fort that we thought that we could explore on a nearby island.

We hopped in the dinghy and set out to explore the fort. It’s called Ilet a Ramiers. Sadly, when we got there and climbed up to the entrance we discovered the fort had a gate and barbed wire closing it off, disappointing.

Access denied!

Town in the distance that we have to motor the dinghy back to after trying to access Ilet a Ramiers. It was against the wind and waves the whole way back and was a very wet trip! We were lucky though because there were showers on the beach…unlimited water to rinse off in…now that was a treat!

While we were at the island the fort was on, the wind and waves really picked up. We had to beat right into the waves for about a mile back to the boat and got absolutely drenched! We were happy to discover that the beach that the boat was anchored in front of had fresh water showers and we were able to get all of the salt out of our crevices. Unlimited water! We don’t persay ration our water on the boat but we are conservative so that was a real treat! It’s amazing just how much salt can get into your ears! We spent two blissful nights here and thought it was time to move on.

The water was soooo clear!

Next anchorage was just about a hour away. When we had our boat on the hard in Saint Kitts we met a couple that had been down this way before, Janaki and Graham on S/V Leela. Brian and Graham got to talking and Graham marked a couple of his favorite spots in Martinique on our chart. Next stop was one of those anchorages he suggested, Anse Noire. Wow…words can almost not describe the beauty of this spot. It’s a small anchorage. When you enter it feels like you are entering another realm. A jungle like beach, covered in palms with tall peaked mountains behind and the most incredibly clear water. Heaven!

Yup, we are going into that crack in the rock!

Skinny, skinny!

We found a spot near the beach and dropped our anchor. We deployed our kayacks to explore. The water was so clear that you did not even need a mask to see all that was below. We paddled around into a nearby cove called Anse Dufour and found a small cave like crevice and went into it. I would say that we paddled in but most of it was so skinny that we had to use our hands pushing along the rocks to explore deeper until we could go no further. It was amazing!

That night the sky was so dark, the stars so bright, it was like we were in a fairytale land. The next morning we snorkeled along the rockwalls of the harbor. So much to see and so many different fish. We were taking it all in and did not get pictures to thoroughly show you what it was like but we got a few good shots.

Cute little cuttlefish…what big eyes you have!

Off again the next day we next sailed on to Grande Anse d Arlet, again about an hour away. We dropped anchor in this boat filled harbor but decided that we did not want to stay. We launched the dinghy just to take a harbor tour and get some pictures.

Aye, there be Pirates out here I say!

It is not just people in houses that collect too much stuff!

Anchored haulled again we were off to a new home. Not sure if we have mentioned this before but everytime “we” haul the anchor, meaning Brian is hauling the anchor (pulling it up) that he is doing this by hand. We do not have a winless like so many boats do and our anchor is a 45lb rocna. This is no easy task. My hero, my Hercules!

Off we were again to Les Anses d Arlet. Don’t most of these places sound pretty much the same? This town is known for it’s picture perfect church that sits right along the waterfront. It’s actually featured in lot of postcards. We cruised the anchorage here where it was pretty crowded and there was some swell. Not an ideal place to anchor on this day so we opted to go just a bit further and anchor just out of town. There was much less swell where we dropped anchor and only three other boats there. Much better for a good nights sleep. Thanks again Graham for a great pick!

Local fishermen pulling in their nets.

On the move again we were off to the big city of Le Marin. This is the main boating hub as it has just about everything and anything that you could need or want for your boat. There are chandeliers, mechanic shops and stores of all kinds galore!


Military History of Diamond Rock near Le Diamant, Martinique
In 1803, the British built a garrison on this small island and then armed it with cannons as a way to defend the St. Lucia Straits. They called the stronghold Fort Diamond. During the Napoleonic Wars, French naval ships repeatedly attacked it without success. Then, according to folklore, they floated barrels of rum towards the island and waited until the 107 British soldiers were inebriated before overpowering them. It still is French territory called Le Rocher du Diamant.

Along the way we passed between the mainland and Diamond Rock. See picture for some cool info on it, it has some crazy history!

LOTS of boats as we enter Le Marin harbor!

Lots of boats are already tucked into the mangroves in Le Marin harbor…or maybe some of them never even left the mangroves from last hurricane season.

When we approached the harbor the sight of the bay was littered with sailboat masts, there were so many! I wondered if there’d be any space! As we approached the bay, the masts spread out and I realized the bay was massive. There was plenty of room. There are lots of shallows and very deep spots all in this bay. The closer you want to be by the town the more crowded it gets. Since we are a shallow draft boat we were able to find a nice cosy spot all on our own with no boats close by. Makes sleeping easier at night when you don’t have to worry about someone dragging down on you or vice versa. This was a good choice because we have had some pretty good wind gusts and lots of rain since we have been here. Being away from the crowd is a longer, sometimes wetter dinghy ride to town but it’s worth it for peace of mind. We can also watch our TV at night in the cockpit outside and not worry about disturbing anyone else’s quiet evening.

Walking along the streets in Le Marin on a very quiet day.

 

Historic monument of the 18th century. Built of cut stone, it is distinguished from other churches by its bell tower located just beside the building. Nestled in the middle of the second order, above the front door, Etienne, our patron saint watches over.
We did not go inside but read that the interior is equally astonishing with the framework that recalls the hull of an overturned boat.

Looks like Brian is trying to jump ship!

So, here we are for now. Not sure what the future has in store for us for hurricane season. Lots of ideas of what we are going to do we just have to settle on what and soon. It will be here before we know it! For now first and foremost we will be celebrating Brian’s birthday tomorrow and then back to reality 🙂

A local Martinique race boat called a “Yole”. We are anchored somewhere in the masses in the bay behind.

View of sunset Le Marin harbor.

That’s all for now, take care. Miss you all!

Funday Sunday!

Brian and Jennifer S/V Moon

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