Published: March 23rd 2009February 14th 2009
Petit Anse D'Arlet
A quentesential French fishing village in Martinique.
We left the southern end of Martinique and sailed up the coast, stopping at some of the anchorages along the way for a night or two. What always amazes me is how very European this island is; it reminds us of being in France. And in fact it is France, because this island has never been independent. So every town along the coast looks and feels like a quaint French village, complete with an Anglican church at the center of the town square. From the anchorage you can hear the church bells ringing from the steeple on the hour and every half hour from sun up to sun down- charming! It really sets the pace for the day.
In the morning we dinghy in for a quick stroll at the local markets, picking up our produce and fresh fish for the day. Afterwards we stop at the local patisserie where we get fresh bread and pastries and espresso, which we enjoy at tables along the waterfront. Then it is back to the boat for a quick swim, maybe a stroll on the beach, or shopping at the French boutiques. Around noon the entire town closes up shop for lunch, which
The anglican church at the town center square of St. Anne.
we enjoy at one of the local restaurants. Lunch in Martinique is a leisurely affair, often spanning a couple of hours and involving three or four courses and a bottle of wine- very civilized! You finish off the meal with an aperitif, either pattisse or a ti punch. Afterwards it is time to go back to the boat and finish up the day. It is definitely a slower pace of life- and we loved it!
After spending a couple of delightful weeks in Martinique, it was time for us to sail on. And sail we did! In fact, we have been sailing the Rum Runner more this year than we ever have. The trade winds in the Caribbean are brisk (an euphemism for honking), and now that we are in the Windward Islands we are finally traveling with the wind and not against it. Nice! Most of our trips have been a close reach, one of the fastest points of sail for our boat. And let me tell you, we can really haul!!! This boat is so incredibly fast, we often sail at 9-10 knots. It is not always comfortable, the rail is in the water and every so
The view of the anchorage in St. Anne.
often we take a wave over the bow. But it sure is exhilarating! Check out the video to get an idea. And we specialize in what we call a “horizon job” which is where we see a boat in the horizon going to the same destination, catch up with the boat and pass it, and within a half hour it is already off the horizon behind us. We smoked them! I often have to remind Jay that it is not a race, and that we are supposed to be just cruising in the Caribbean from island to island. That the Rum Runner is not a race boat. But I guess you can’t take the racer out of this cruiser.
There are more photos below