It is time to leave the Grenadines and sail up to Martinique. In two weeks it’s time for our daughter with family to come on board and Johan will fly back to Sweden. There are some reports of corona cases outside China and the question is which countries will be affected. So far there seems to be no major concern about a pandemic, even though we talk about the cruise ships here in the Caribbean. On each island, there is always one or more large cruise ships with passengers from all over the world. We wonder how long until they will be allowed to visit the islands here in the Caribbean.
In a few weeks, the first case of corona sick onboard a cruise ship will be reported. After that it only takes another week, then all cruise ships are forbidden to touch the Caribbean islands. In mid-March, the borders will be closed and curfews will be introduced. But we are happily unaware of this so far.
Towards Saint Lucia
We want to wait to sail north until the wind turns to the southeast again to get the wind from the side or a little aft to be able to sail with the whole mainsail rolled out. Where we are in the Caribbean, it usually blows 20-30 knots and it is too much to have the whole mainsail out when the wind is up.
We have a mainsail that is furled into the mast by an electric motor. The motor has a built-in brake that will prevent the sail from rolling out when reefed. That brake does not work and the sail rolls out of the mast which means we can only have the whole sail out.
We waited a few days for a good weather forecast before leaving Bequia. The forecast did not match completely, it was still blowing from the east and we got tough sailing with lots of wind and waves against us.
Anchors in Rodney Bay after a long day sailing from Bequia, then it actually tastes good with an Irish coffee as a sundowner. The next day we take the dinghy to the marina to do the check-in and after that, we continue to the mall to buy food. The guy at the dinghy dock gets super happy because Johan accidentally gives him 20 EUR instead of 20 EC as payment for watching our dinghy when we were shopping. We also took the opportunity to have a pizza and shop ice cream at the cafe by the marina, refuel diesel and get some EC dollars from the ATM.
To Sainte Anne
We get windy sailing up to Martinique and the bay at Le Marine. Again, we should have sailed with a reefed mainsail but it’s not possible with a malfunctioning Furlex brake. After 4 hours of sailing, we anchor out at Sainte-Anne because further into the bay there are a lot of boats, and hard to find a place to anchor on.
I take the dinghy to the jetty at Sainte-Anne where there is a customs computer for check-in. The next day I take a trip to Le Marin to buy some stuff for the boat and the next day it’s time to fill the food supply with stuff we didn’t find in Rodney Bay.
Anse a LAne
Since the anchorage at Sainte-Anne was a bit boring far from to the beach and uninteresting snorkeling, we sailed west along the south coast of Martinique and went to Anse a l’Ane, partly to get a little better snorkeling and partly to get closer to Z’Abricot Marina where we would meet Sofia with family in a few days. We get a nice sailing along the coast and sail past the Diamond Cliff which is a 180 m high cliff. We thought it resembled Darth Vader’s helmet.
Snorkeling at Ilet a Ramiers
On this island, there is a nice reef where we went with the dinghy and snorkeled. When we were there it was calm weather which is a prerequisite for the water to be clear. It is one of the more colorful reefs we have ever encountered so far.
Bat cave south of Ilet a Ramieres
A little further south along the coast there is a cave where large brown-yellow bats live. As the swell enters the cave, a hazy roar from a cave chamber arises further in. The first time it happened when we were inside the cave we jumped high in the dinghy. We were completely unprepared for it and thought the whole cave was about to collapse.
The next blog will be about when Sofia with family come to the boat and our stay until Johan travels home just when we read that there has been a corona outbreak in France.