26 Feb 2011

[Cruise News] Battening down the hatches at Grande Anse D'Arlets, Martinique

After a quick trip back to St Lucia to meet friends for dinner and pick up good friends who are joining us for 9 days sailing, we have headed back to Martinique to the same pretty little bay where we spent last weekend.  Unlike last weekend however the wind is back with a vengeance and we're holed up on Pandora in 30 knot winds making sure the anchor doesn't drag nor anyone else drags into us.  The wind was so strong last night that we operated a shift-based anchor watch all through the night and so are all feeling pretty tired today.   I have to say I'm now totally hacked off with the wind conditions .... if it doesn't settle soon I'm out of here .... or so I like to pretend!

Before we headed back to Martinique we spent a night anchored between the famous St Lucia "pitons" - very dramatic and a world heirtage site.  We'll post some photos very soon. The only downside of the location was the pervading smell of suplhur eminating from the volcano a few miles inland and, in the still night air (yes the wind does occasionally stop blowing) it built up to quite an intensity.  We visitied the volcano the next morning to see the bubbling mud pools and sulphurous steam rising from the earth - definitely the closest I've been to a volcano.

Anyone who has taken a sailing holiday will know that there are a number of options to choose from.  Flotillas, crewed charters or even bareboat charters, our preferred choice in recent years where we have simply rented and sailed a boat ourselves.  Paul has now joined the ranks of the final type of option .... the "barebutt" charter!  I have seen more naked male backsides in the last 16 weeks than probably in my entire life, as they sail by or shower on the stern of the boat.  The all-over tan is obviously a serious goal for many sailors.  Binoculars are available for visiting female crew members for a small fee!

 Assuming the wind does die down we'll be heading north tomorrow bound for Dominica, one of the most beautiful islands we've been told.  More on that next week!