17 Jan 2015

[Captains Blog] Granda Anse D'Arlet, Martinique

The freedom to roam the seas must be the single unencumbered global pleasure we have left, and it is definitely to be enjoyed. This week, we signed out of Bequia on Thursday afternoon, departed for St Lucia on Friday, arriving in Rodney Bay at a little after 4pm (too late to check in through customs and immigration), so we dropped anchor just off the beach where there was an annoying monstrosity called Sandals Resort which looked to us like a Caribbean Butlins. We hoisted the yellow quarantine flag to show we were in transit, and settled down for the night. Thankfully, the winds were slight, and we got a decent night's sleep.

Dawn broke yesterday morning and as we were getting our breakfasts, we started thinking what we would do that day. Check into Customs and Immigration first. Then what? Stay on St Lucia and do some exploring? What were our alternatives? We would be collecting our next visiting friends Fiona and Andrew who fly into St Lucia on Tuesday, so potentially we had 3 full days to fill. We both have a very low boredom threshold, and sitting around for days doing nothing, or killing time without a real purpose doesn't cut it with either of us. So we mooted that we could go sailing perhaps .... "OK" we both said. "Let's go to Martinique."

So 30 minutes later, having prepared the boat, washed the dishes, and put the bananas in the sink to stop them falling on the floor, we were under full sail heading across the St Lucia Passage towards Martinique where we arrived several hours later (too late to check into customs again) and are now at anchor in a beautiful, sheltered bay. As we were dropping anchor we were hailed by someone in a dinghy who had recognised us as we turned into the bay. It turned out to be the owners of the boat who were next to us in the Tobago Cays on Christmas Day who we got to know after the accident, and who invited us aboard their boat 'Badgers Sett' for sundowners. We also noticed that another boat whose owners we had been chatting to was close by, and we have a date with them this evening. Such a nice community, these sailors.

We still have the yellow flag hoisted until after clearing in at a cafe this morning (the French immigration process is so civilised and easy - all done online) when we can officially hoist Le Tricouleur as our courtesy flag and legally go ashore. Then what will we do? Explore the island perhaps? Dominica isn't that far away ... Or we might just check out again and sail back to St Lucia ....