We sailed back to Martinique after dropping both Daisy and Anna in Saint Lucia, once again arriving straight into Le Marin and St Anne.
This time the sail was much easier and the motor was not needed at all, although the crossing was a little rough and took its toll on Andrew’s stomach!
We once again met up with Danae and Artemis who had now overtaken us in our adventure since we hopped back south for a few days.
They let us know that some Carnival celebrations would be happening in St Anne, so we went to investigate with them! Little did we know this would be the start of a month of carnival for us.
We couldn’t ignore the amazing supermarket that was Leader Price, so once again headed there for another trolly full of supplies for the coming week.
We probably bought more Brie than we would normally eat in a year during our short stay in Martinique.
Our next stop was Marigot du Diamant, a less visited anchorage in Martinique, according to reviews it can be a little tricky to navigate and anchor in, but we had no problems.
As we approached the anchorage, Kathryn managed to catch a Cero Mackeral which made for a perfect sunset dinner cooked Mediterranean style in the oven for three. This is the biggest size fish we can fit whole (minus head and tail) in the oven 👌
It’s always nice catching a fish, but it can be a lot of effort in the Caribbean due to the amount of sargassum seaweed floating around and the risks of ciguatera toxin poisoning which comes from fish that eat reef fish, particularly as we near and pass Guadeloupe.
In this anchorage, we got Andrew out on the water for his first-ever SUP experience, and we all (one by one) explored the bay ourselves, including to try and catch a few small waves that were breaking on the central reef.
Next, we aimed to try and find some mangroves and headed all the way into the Fort du France Bay to Petit Ilet.
We anchored just in the lee off the island in mud. Researching the island we knew there were some picnic benches and knew that people came on little tours here so there must be some things of interest over there.
After cooking up some pesto pasta, we headed with the pot in the dinghy to eat on the island and then have a little walk around. The first bit of wildlife to come to our attention were the 2 friendly chickens that wanted some of our pasta. But there was more to see too.
The following day we moved anchorage to the other side of Petit Ilet to be slightly closer to the entrance to the mangrove-sided river, just on the edge of a no-anchoring area.
We took both the dinghy and the SUP up the river to see the mangroves and wildlife that lived in and around them. To our surprise, the most common animal here were the mangrove tree crabs, which are normally bright yellow and seemed to cover every single mangrove we could find, even way up in the canopy, and always hiding on the other side of the branches.
We had to move back to our previous anchorage as a local came passed in his boat and told us that apparently, we couldn’t anchor overnight where we were even though the chart said it was fine. We moved mainly to avoid any further confrontations 😲.
Before we knew it, it was the 12th of February, and Andrew had less than a week left with us.
The next stop was one of the most northern anchorages in Martinique that we were destined to explore near Saint Pierre.
First on the tourism list for Saint Pierre was the zoo which was literally a stone’s throw from where the boat was anchored, the zoo’s landscape and environment were lovely, based within the ruins of the oldest habitation in Martinique, the main house and its outhouses, including a small hospital and waterwheel were put to ruin by the volcanic eruption which we found out more about in the museum we went to the following day.
Further into the town was a fairly nice and modern museum covering the history of the island, particularly the Saint Pierre area which was dramatically impacted by a volcano eruption.
Saint Pierre was once the thriving cultural and economic capital of Martinique, known for its bustling port, vibrant arts scene, and luxurious lifestyle. However, in 1902, the town was completely destroyed by a massive volcanic eruption from nearby Mount Pelée, which killed almost all of its inhabitants. This tragedy left an indelible mark on the town and its people, and today, the ruins of Saint Pierre serve as a powerful reminder of the town’s rich history and the devastating impact of natural disasters.
Andrew loves a good meal out, so once again we headed to find some delicious food after the museum.
Keen to start heading back toward the airport (a short taxi ride from Fort du France) we started heading south once again, choosing to anchor at a place called Four a Chaux.
There wasn’t a whole lot to see snorkeling this time, but there was a wonderful Hawksbill turtle! (We do love them, especially when the visibility is great!)
Hawksbill turtles are sea turtles found throughout the world’s tropical oceans including the Caribbean and are known for their beautiful shells and important role in maintaining the health of coral reefs by feeding on sponges and other reef organisms. Unfortunately, they’re critically endangered due to threats such as habitat loss, pollution, and over-harvesting, so it was a blessing to see a young one.
Continuing south we entered the Fort du France bay but once again headed deep into it to anchor somewhere new at Les Trois-ilets.
We had already prepared to have a couple of BBQs toward the end of Andrews’s time with us. One just the three of us and another with Extress as once again as they would be catching up with us.
With plenty of BBQable food aboard, Andrew set about making burgers and we lit the BBQ which hangs off the back of Hannah.
Sausages and bacon went on first while the burgers were being prepared. The burgers came out and looked delicious and gigantic, and on they went. Unfortunately upon flipping the burgers, the weight of them had bent the inner BBQ (which is just a disposable BBQ), and the entire thing slipped into the sea.
It’s probably one of the saddest moments so far aboard Hannah, seeing 4 delicious and gigantic half-cooked burgers drifting away downwind to become fish food. 😭 At least the sausages and bacon were already cooked and off the bbq so we got to eat those.
Anyway, the next day we headed back to Fort du France to anchor once again. Extress arrived a few hours later and we brought a bag of BBQ supplies to BBQ aboard Extress so as to avoid any more BBQ disappointments.
Our sailing with Andrew was complete, with Martinique part 2 being the final set of hops.
Andrew decided to spend his final night in a Hotel to freshen up on stable dry land before his cross-Atlantic flight back to Europe. 👋👋
Carnival struck once again, and although the big day would happen once Andrew had left, there were some pre-carnival carnival events to go and see.
The first being the introduction of the carnival queen.
And the second that evening being a show of floats and cars.
Before the two of us could contemplate continuing on to Dominica and then to Guadeloupe where we had arranged to get hauled out in a boat yard for some repainting, there was a little more carnivaling to do. But that will have to wait until the next post, as its quite intertwined with the crossing to and being on Dominica itself.
Until next time!