Crew change on Martinique

The day before Sofia, Johan, Sixten, and Klara arrive, we move the boat into Z’Abricot Marina, which is a private marina 10 minutes by taxi from the airport. The first night we are on a buoy and the next day when they come we have booked a berth to make it easier to get everyone and all packing on board. The harbor looks well maintained but may not have as many visitors as needed for the restaurants at the harbor. When we are there, only one restaurant is open and the grocery store located in the residential area next to the marina was closed on Sunday.
We meet PO and Annika on Sine Cura II who will leave the boat here for a month while traveling home to Sweden.

Z’Abricot Marina

At first we anchored inside the headland east of the marina, but there you are not allowed to anchor as it is a nature reserve which is not shown in our chart (latest version). We are assigned a buoy outside the marina and there we can see the sun go down between the containers in the harbor.

New crew arrives

We got a berth at the far end of the jetty. There was a large bridge post on one side which made it difficult to get ashore because we couldn’t get close with the stern. While we wait for them to arrive, we prepare the boat so that they can stay in the forward cabins where they arrive and Johan moves into the aft cabin. We also got time to eat a late lunch at the restaurant where a magnificent pelican has its own place on the dock outside.

The plane from Paris lands on time, but the taxi is delayed. Finally, they call and say that the taxi with child seats they ordered has not arrived and that they should try to find another taxi. After just over an hour, a taxi comes with four tired travelers who will be sailing with us for two months. I have done a sailing plan that includes Guadeloupe, Antigua, Barbuda, St Barth, Saint Martin, Anguilla, and down to Sint-Maarten where they will fly home at the end of April. That will not be the case, we will hardly be able to leave Johan in Fort-de-France on March 4 until the corona starts to emerge here as well.

Anse a l’Ane

The next day we make a short sail to Anse a l’Ane where we anchor in the bay. Johan takes the dinghy ashore with the new crew members to enjoy ice cream and to bathe from a sandy beach. We had thought of taking the dinghy down to the fine snorkeling at Ilet Ramiere and to the cave with bats. Unfortunately, it is a bit too windy to make the visit to the cave and then we also ignore the snorkeling.

Grande Anse d’Arlet

After a few days at Anse a l’Ane, the new crew has grown accustomed to life aboard and we venture on a short sailing down to the Grand Anse-d’Arlet where we anchor at the northern end of the bay. Johan O who likes to fish can even launch our fishing tackle, but without any bite. Here we get several nice days with sun, swimming, snorkeling and some excursions to the beach. We have not yet received any reports of corona cases here at Martinique, so life is as usual.

At Grand Anse-d’Arlet there is great snorkeling, preferably out at the southern headland where the water is crystal clear with 20 meters visibility the day me and Johan E snorkel there. We see a lot of turtles and during the snorkeling, I get some really good close-ups of a turtle swimming completely in front of the camera.

Petit Anse d’Arlet

Now it’s time to change anchorage so that Sally can move around and have the opportunity to empty her tanks. We sail to Petit Anse d’Arlet but take a slightly larger turn off the coast to catch some fishing as well. Unfortunately no bite this time either. We drop anchor in the southern part of the bay and have some nice days here. There is a bread shop where we buy fresh baguettes every morning, if you are too late they are sold out. There is a small market where we buy vegetables and the fish market is not open when we are there.

Flying Penguin with Mirja and Håkan aboard has also anchored here. They are to be visited by their children and grandchildren and they are so many that they cannot fit onboard the boat so they have rented a house here in Petit Anse d’Arlet. Carina and I take a sundowner with them in the house which is located on the slope with a lovely view over the bay and all the anchored boats.

Johan leaves Sally

Our son (Johan) has been sailing with us since we arrived in Las Palmas in early November and now it is time to fly home to Sweden through Paris. Now France has had several corona cases and we are talking about the risk of being infected when flying through Paris where you have to go by bus when changing airport to fly on to Stockholm. The use of mouthguards and keeping away from other people has not been introduced yet. It doesn’t feel good to fly now, but he has to go home and start working again and we don’t think it will be easier to fly home later either.

In the next blog, we continue north up to Dominica and towards a time of changing conditions for sailing and traveling in the world.

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