les saintes to martinique

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January 12th 2009
Published: January 12th 2009
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Les Saintes
These pretty little islands are about eight miles from guadaloupe and as we sailed there a big storm blacked out the sea and the island, we even had to put the radar on. but soon the islands appeared and the little town on the island of haut terre was very sweet, with a few streets cafes, restaurants, and a ferry full of tourists arriving each morning to fill the island. when they have all gone it seems very quiet and tranquil, almost as if the island is relaxing again and taking a deep breath.
We had been here before with Jim and Jan a couple of years ago, it did not seem to have changed much. There is a fort on the top of the hill overlooking the town, loads of iguanas run around near it. We did a dive under the boat, around the mooring, last year alan found some great le creuset pans, this year I found a really good deck brush, extendable and almost new. We went out for a meal that night and enjoyed quite a reasonable meal, accras, kind of cod balls, and stuff that looked like fishy black pudding , salad, then steak in a really nice mushroom sauce. But...before that would have cost about £40 now it is £60. Not so good.

We got up early and went for a walk up along the island, through the pretty streets, watching the town get ready for the ferry, women baking little cakes at the side of the road ready to sell as the visitors arrived. we walked over the very steep centre of the island to the beach on the other side. There was a pretty valley filled with little goats and small holdings.
We did a good dive on the edge of the reef, it was very calm and easy, we also had a good snorkel, There was a lobster but alan did not have his snare.
We met Ian and Avril on jigsaw and their friends, so had a good time on their boat, they asked us for dinner great, it was mahe mahe as well, so a very enjoyable time.

We got up at 6am to go to Martinique, we were going to stop in Dominica but when Ian showed us his arm and the scar from an attack in the anhorage with a machete it kind of put us off. We had a good sail there, the boat behaved well, a bit boisterous to start with, then inb the lee of dominica, flat calm for 3 hours, we had to motor. We arrived at St pierre about 6pm.
Next mornign we went tot he very lively little market. I think St Pierre is one of the most interesting places in the Caribbean/;. ·It was totally destroyed by a volcanic eruption from Mt Pelee in 1902. before this it had been the petit paris of the caribbean. We went tot he museum and then on the 'petit' train. They got us an english guide, they only have english people about every 3 months, and he was an ex lawyer from paris, vbery intelligent and interesting. He took us to the theatre, it had been so grand and big, very civilised. Only one person out of 260000 survived he was prisoner in the cell, comatose on rum.
Later we did the dive on the wrecks which were sunk in the bay during the eruption, very interesting. We went out for a meal that night to a restaurant which stank of faded granduer. The owner was more interested in sending out his fishing bait on a remote controlled boat into the sea than the clientele, but it was agreat hoot,.
Sailed up to fort de france anchored in anse mitan, went ashore, had a drink, £10 for two drinks....then this morning up here to lemarin, 37 knots on the way, but no fish. Diamant rock was interesting , it was used by the british instead of a war ship,,,imnagine lugging canons up there.


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