Thursday, May 31, 2012


Martinique greeted us with a long shower that washed the salt off our boat - yes, one needs to look at things from the bright side :-)

We anchored in front of city of St Pierre on the north west coast of the island.

St Pierre was destroyed by the volcano, Mt Pele, in 1902. Before it was flourishing city with 30.000 inhabitants. In the volcano disaster 29.350 people died and 12 ships in the bay sunk. Almost nothing was left of the city, only some parts of the walls. They can be seen all over the town now, some has been used as parts of the walls for the new houses (below right), some has been used as walls to the gardens (below left).


 Next day we took a stroll around the town. One of the most prominent buildings before volcano outburst was the theater. There are still a lot of remains that indicate what a majestic building it once was.

The statue was made by one of the Rodin's pupils.

 Next to the theater there was a prison. 

 This is the cell where a man called Louis Cyparis, who is said to be the only man who survived volcano eruption, only with some burns. Considering the thickness of the cell's walls he probably had the best chances in town ...

Mt Pele was mostly hidden in the clouds, this was one of the rare moment when we could almost see it's peak.

On Monday we sailed on towards Le Marin, a bay and a town on the south coast of Martinique. We caught fish after 15 minutes, even before we managed to put up all sails. It was a Bigeye tuna again.

 Sailing was ok, only on south side we had to motor-sail since the wind was almost on the nose. The coast is rugged on some parts ...

... and one can not miss the signs of strong winds that sometimes blow here.

A bit off  the south-west corner of the island lies a Diamond rock, also known as HMS Diamond rock. Martinique was French all the time in the past and when England and France were fighting in 19th century,  Britts came to the brilliant idea to put some cannons up the Diamond rock, call it a ship and annoy the French and the passing ships sailing by by shooting at them. Napoleon was mad and commanded one of his Admirals to free the rock and to eliminate Admiral Nelson while he was "in the area". The French freed the rock shortly afterwards and cleverly avoid Admiral Nelson, since Britts had much stronger navy at that time. 

Looking at the rock, I have a hard time imagining how the Britts dragged the cannons to the top of it ...

 We arrived in Le Marin late in the afternoon. I'm not sure if we seen more boats on one place anywhere else in Caribbean till now...

We've been working hard in past days, partly preparing the boat for hurricane season and we managed to disassemble the water heater - only thinking of how we've managed to get the 38 cm water heater through the opening that was ončy 34 cm wide, gets me tired. Now we need to see if it can be repaired and then we need to squeeze it in through the same opening or buy a new one, possibly a smaller one (guess which option I prefer :-).

Sometimes a boat like this sails through the anchorage and it's fun to watch and I imagine also fun to sail, although everybody gets wet ......


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