Last time we left you in Saint Lucia, now we are off to Martinique, for more fun shenanigans. Get ready for 5 onboard again!
Located in the heart of the Caribbean Sea, Martinique is a picturesque island paradise that’s a must-visit destination for sailors. With its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and year-round tropical climate, Martinique is the perfect place for an adventure. From the charming coastal towns to the lush rainforests and towering peaks, there’s no shortage of natural beauty to discover.
We sailed from the marina at Rodney Bay, leaving slightly later than planned as we couldn’t check out at immigration over lunchtime, so after a slow morning we set sail after lunch. We were beating hard into wind and waves, slowing progress significantly, and decided to motor sail most of the way so we didn’t get in at midnight. It was still after dark by the time we arrived but having read the reviews on Navily about the Saint Anne anchorage we knew it was going to be safe to do so, it is by far the biggest anchorage with the most boats we’ve ever been to, it still had loads of room and the whole bay was a perfect 5m deep with a sandy bottom. In the morning we looked out onto the sheer scale of boats we were anchored amongst, hundreds and hundreds on sailboats.
Our search for a cheap food shop finally came to an end when we found a ‘Leader Price’! So we went to town on stocking up the boat, It’s perfectly aimed at cruisers with a dinghy dock right next to the shop which you can take your trolley down to. Martinique is a French island so it’s well connected to mainland France with all its great cheese and wine, after this we had the fridge full to the brim, well for the next week at least as we ate through all the fresh produce pretty quickly with lots of people on board.
We knew one of our boat buddies Vela was going to be sailing into the same bay, Saint Anne after crossing from St Lucia that day so we decided to invite them over for a lasagne dinner, they loved the invite after a long day’s sail. Cooking for 8 on a small boat is always a laugh, I think we ate 5 lasagnas with no leftovers 😂
As a gift in the morning from Vela we got a delivery of croissants and fresh bread from a bakery on shore.
On XXX we went snorkeling on the reef at the channel entrance into Le Marin, this was one of the first times we got to try out our new dinghy anchor which we bought in a Chandlery in Rodney Bay. The anchor was well set and we all jumped in to explore the underwater world, not long later I looked up to check on the dinghy which turned out to be much further away than expected! I yelled to Adam “It’s floating away!!” Adam quickly jumped into action and swam after it, only later realizing he still had his snorkeling weights on which made it hard work, luckily he made it to the dinghy and the kill cord was still in the kill switch, so not long and he was back. Turns out the knot had come undone between the dinghy line and the anchor line, after that, we tied it together with bowlines, not reef knots, and haven’t had a drifting dinghy since!
Despite this, we all managed to have a great look around.
We wanted to explore something land-based so we climbed the hill in St Anne up to a religious shrine/ outdoor church and got some lush views on the way (including the picture of the St Anne anchorage earlier in this post)
In the evening we found a very popular beach bar and got some drinks, when the sun started to set we found out why it was so special, the view of the anchorage in front of the setting sun was spectacular.
Daisy makes a cracking carbonara so she whipped us up a quick dinner that evening with copious amounts of pasta 🤤
The mission the following morning was to pick up our 5th crew member, as Andrew flew into Martinique later that day! We sailed out of the lovely protection on Saint Anne and around the southwestern corner of the island to Anse Noir where we did a quick shuffle around of people and got his bed sorted and then picked him up from the pontoon in the little bay in the late afternoon.
Having 5 onboard, where not everyone knows each other/ only one couple was a new experience, it meant Kathryn and Daisy shared the double in the saloon and Adam and Andrew shared the double in the front! Anna got a good deal in keeping the aft cabin to herself 😋
We had organized to go canyoning near Fort Du France the following day so after a very early start we sailed across the bay which only took about an hour to the busy anchorage at Fort du France. Just to add to the time constraint we found the holding to be rubbish so we ended up setting an anchor 3 times which never happens, finally happy that Hannah Penn was not going to drift away after we left, we all hoped in the dinghy and went to land to get a taxi
Andrew had a relaxing day café-ing whilst the rest of us put helmets and wetsuits on and jumped off some waterfalls, abseiled down bigger ones, and climbed and swam through deep canyons, the rainforest all around was gorgeous, so green and vibrant and full of life. It was a welcome change to be in fresh cool water and we all had a blast.
In the afternoon our canyoning guide gave us a lift down the mountain to a shop where we could get some bbq supplies, we met up with Andrew again and went back to the boat for a good old-fashioned BBQ in the sunset.
We heard from some friends that the best snorkeling in Martinique was in a bay called Anse d’Arlets, so we headed there.
On a bouyed-off area (to stop boats from getting anywhere near) there is an amazing little reef, like an oasis of life in the middle of a deserted ocean floor.
We saw all kinds of fish including some super-friendly angel fish.
And we managed to snap this great video swimming behind a Turtle!
I’m the evening we went for cocktails, Adam and Andrew got to talk in-depth about work and the girls chit-chatted in the golden sunshine.
Snorkeling isn’t something Andrew had done much of before so we left him, Anna, and Daisy to go back one more time whilst I checked us all out of the island in preparation for our sail back to Saint Lucia.
It’s now the 1st of Feb and we had an easy downwind sail back from Martinique to St Lucia, so took this opportunity for some boat shenanigans.
We jumped off whilst sailing and you had to swim to a rope dragging behind the boat to get back on board, thankfully everyone got back to the rope in time so there were no MOB maneuvers necessary, getting dragged behind the boat whilst sailing is a fun experience and it lets you feel the power of sails, even when only going 4 knots (any more and you’d struggle to pull yourself back to the steps!)
We did some similar towing earlier in our trip.
We later arrived back in Rodney Bay.
There was no space in the Marina for us this time, so we anchored just outside.
We headed to a pizzeria we had been eyeing up the last time we were at the marina, it was so tasty we ordered a 6th pizza halfway through our meal!
Next, we hire a car and explore the island for a couple of days before Daisy and Anna head home, but that’s for the next port.