031813 Bonjour from Martinique

031413 1 Le Marlin Martinique Katherine in amongst the sea of masts

Katherine moored - this is just one side of the massive marina area.

We finally made it out of St Lucia on Tuesday 12th March after the water maker parts were at last installed. We were really enjoying the company of our neighbours and of Ean who had looked after Katherine in our absence, but it really was time to move on.

Our sail north to Martinique was all of 25 miles but true to form of The Windward islands the wind was blowing 18knots on the nose. It is some eight weeks since we have sailed so it took a little while to shake out the cobwebs, get back into routine and get Katherine settled. 

We sailed straight to Le Marin marina with the intention of getting the stay sail stay repaired. Two sail makers later we finally had the job booked with the rigging guy for today - apparently it is now going to be tomorrow. Since arriving in Martinique we have been amazed at the sea of masts we have seen not only in this marina but in anchorages around the island. 

031713 4 Our trusty Twingo

Martinique is all of 80 kilometres long and 39 kilometres wide with a population of some 400000 French speaking citizens. We hired a "little" car for three days and traversed the island from the volcanic mountain tops to the beautiful white sandy beaches. The Twingo had trouble at times handling the inclines and there were other times we thought we were going to lose her in the potholes but at the end she got us there. These roads are so like Spain - no need for hairpin bends signs thats just taken for granted. 

We visited Fort De France the now capital of Martinique and later in the north St Pierre. St Pierre was the capital up until it was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 1902. Photos show it prior to the devastation as a bustling city of nearly 30000 people, all of whom lost their lives. Mother nature at her most powerfulness. 

In the south we drove the coastline from Les Trois-Ilets to Sainte Anne and north along the east coast to Vauclin. The beaches in the south are beautiful white sand compared to the volcanic black sand of the north. 

031613 6 Keeping up the tradition

Martinique is also renown for rhum making and they take great pride in the fact that all rhum on the island to be called Agricole Rhum must follow strict guidelines for production from the sugar cane. So of course we made sure we went and did a Rhum tour to ensure the collection of Rum onboard Katherine does not diminish. Andrew selected La Mauny a Rum distillery that has been around since 1749 and of course was off the main road for a bit of extra navigational challenge. 

Possibly the only thing that has been hard to get use to whilst being in Martinique is that it is so French - here there is little English, we are back to using the Euro and driving on the right side of the road. I guess thats why Parisians flock here - its their summer suburb one flight from Paris and baguettes are available on every corner.

Its in the log that when we return (one day) to anchor at all the beautiful anchorages we found by car on the west coast. 

au revoir jusqu'à la prochaine blog (goodbye till next blog)

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© SV Katherine 2018      Cover Photo: Katherine on Anchor Isle Tabarca Spain