After 23 nights in various anchorages around Martinique, it was time to head north. It’s a great island and we’d be happy to return.
Our last couple of nights we spent off St Pierre. The village has an interesting history being the first significant port on Martinique where commerce once thrived. Catastrophe struck in 1902 when Mount Pelee erupted and approximately 30,000people died. The soul survivor was a man in prison who can attribute his survival to the thickness of his prison walls and the aspect of his cell door. Not sure if he was pardoned or moved to another prison to celebrate his survival.
A street map guides visitors around the remains of several buildings which must have been great splendours in their day….the theatre, the hospital, the cathedral, the prison, the chief engineers house. The town has never recovered its lost glory post eruption but we both liked it, even if it was a bit tired around the ears.
Mount Pelee dominates the north of the island and it was time for a decent walk. So off we set early one morning to meet a prearranged taxi at 7am to take us to our chosen starting point. Hmmmm. No sign of our taxi. The plan was to start walking early to avoid the heat of the day. After a chat with another taxi driver, who was unfortunately spoken for and a couple of phone calls, our man eventually turned up about 7.25am.
A reasonably steep ascent and we’d gained the Cordillera just as the mist was clearing. We chose not to summit we planed to cross from one side of the hill to the and back down to the sea. The hill itself is lush and green every inch covered in vegetation. The walk down was long. 4,000ft to sea level. Our legs hurt the next day, and the day after.
Since then, we sailed to Dominica, although we didn’t go ashore. And now we’re at the north end of Guadalupe heading to Antigua tomorrow. We had a couple of nights on a group of islands called Les Saintes. Because it’s Easter, the anchorages were busy and with strongish winds and deep water, a bit of boat swinging all round ensued. We ended up having to pick up our anchor at midnight and motor across to another anchorage in the pitch dark. More experience to put in our proverbial locker there.
We have had reoccurring engine misdemeanours so a jobs list is taking shape for Antigua. It’s Classics week in Antigua so we’re looking forward to catching up with the crew from Spirit of Oysterhaven, an Irish boat that we met in the Cape Verde’s.