Tuesday, 15 April 2014

13/2014 Martinique

Hi from Clare,                  Sunday 13th April 2014
Our first stop on the French island of Martinique was at Saint Pierre which is at the northern end of the west coast. The most notable thing about St Pierre is that it was completely destroyed by a volcano in 1902. Of the 30,000 residence only one man survived. He was a prisoner in a small stone cell and was miraculously found alive four days later, see photos. This is an amazing story but I was sad to read that he spent the rest of his life travelling with an American circus displaying his scars.

The lone survivor and his prison cell
The town of Saint Pierre has been rebuilt around the ruins. The Cathedral seen in the photos shows the original ground floor and the rest of the building is post 1902. There is a very interesting museum showing photos pre and post 1902 and has exhibits of every day items dug from the ruins. There are musical instruments all warped and melted, dinner sets fused together by hot volcanic dust and a box of nails in one solid block, it's a miracle one man survived.

St. Pierre Cathedral & the Theatre (1902)
So after that rather sobering experience we next walked uphill to the Depaz Distillery a couple of kilometres out of town. This is open to the public and we were allowed to stroll about by following the red path through the plant. We stopped for a refreshing tropical juice cocktail before sampling the different rums produced at the plant. The local girl behind the bar was quite taken aback when Andrew asked for a sample of the Cocoa Rum. Apparently, said with an Aussie accent, it sounds like their word for diarrhoea! We all had a good laugh.


The Depaz Distillery with Ellen, Martin and Andrew

Our next stop was the city of Fort de France. This is a busy city and not very appealing. We stopped here so Ellen and Martin from Acapella could purchase coffee for their espresso machine and we wanted more CO2 cylinders for our Soda Stream. Because it was the weekend and the Soda Stream agent was closed, it took two trips before we had success. But hurray, we now have enough CO2 gas to last for twelve months of nightly happy hours.

We were glad to leave the city and headed south to Grand Anse D'Arlets. This is a lovely large bay with a small holiday village. The four of us hiked up over the hill to the neighbouring village. It took about 45 minutes of scrambling over rocks and ducking under trees, but it was a good walk with a wonderful view and we felt well exercised by the time we returned to the boat. We spent a few days in the bay enjoying the water and sharing happy hours with Ellen and Martin.


The walk and views around Grand Anse D'Arlets
We are now at Saint Anne which is a lovely small village a few miles south of the main town of Le Marin. It is a picture perfect anchorage with aqua water, sandy beaches, blue skies and a large Club Med resort ideally located on the sandy point. We went into busy Le Marin yesterday for some provisions and on Friday night the boys took Ellen and me out to dinner in Saint Anne's to celebrate our April birthdays soon to come. We had a wonderful night with a spectacular view of the harbour from our front row dinner table.
This morning the four of us climbed the stairs to the top of the hill over looking the bay and then strolled along the beach for morning coffee at a beach side restaurant.

Martinique and the Birthday Girls
Tonight we will have farewell drinks on Eye Candy before we leave Acapella here and sail tomorrow to the island of St Lucia. We hope to be in Trinidad by mid week so we can get a few jobs done on Eye Candy. I am hoping to get the lounge suite replaced and Andrew wants some work done on the rig. We're hoping that the workforce there is not too busy to fit us in.
We plan to catch up with our friends Ellen and Martin after we leave Trinidad. My guess is that by then we will be looking forward to some happy company.
love Candy xx

At 10:59 AM6/04/2014 (utc) our position was 14°36.04'N 061°04.16'W

radio email processed by SailMail
for information see: http://www.sailmail.com