Sailing the Caribbean is a dream for many, I know it’s one of mine. Wind blowing through your hair, eyes fixed on the horizon and a million shades of blue staring up at you…sounds like the life doesn’t it?
Here is a story I found about one man’s sailing trip around the island of Martinique. A little something for you Castaways to day dream too if you will. Cheers.
Martinique – A Sailors Caribbean Paradise
I am homesick for a place that is not my home, having just returned from a sailing holiday in the Caribbean, it is Martinique that is to blame for this feeling deep in my stomach.
From the north our first port of call was the village of St Pierre. A quiet anchorage with few boats contrasts with the buzz in the village a real mix of Europe and the Caribbean. The people here are extremely friendly and the place is known for its historic Church and long beach. I would have been happy to spend my entire holiday here but the crew resisted.
Our next stop was Trois Islets. A totally different and larger town with another very sheltered beach. Here there is a very small marina with friendly staff and the town is packed with great restaurants and bars. It is a shoppers dream too with scores of quaint shops selling everything from the latest fashion to ethnic crafts. There is also an excellent anchorage nearby if you do not want to pay for the marina. This town is a little more expensive than the others but is really beautiful.
The sailing couldn’t be better. South easterly winds of 20 knots prevailed every day. We had a cooling shower of rain about every other day which was more than welcome and shorts and tee shirt were adequate at night even for my wife who feels the chill easily.
The bays are not crowded and all the sailors are quite friendly, we met quite a few people, mostly French. This is a little part of France after all complete with the wine, baguette and euro.
Anse d’Arlets and the misnamed Grand Anse d’Arlets were also unexpected gems. We arrived in regular Arlets first and were so impressed we stayed an extra night and purchased a large slice of swordfish for the bar b q which was just being landed. A gorgeous village with two great little ramshackle bars (just the way I like them) and a restaurant either on the beach or on the cliff top overlooking the bay.
Grand Anse was oddly enough, smaller. No cash machines or shops but plenty of bars and restaurants. A little more crowded, we preferred the former. Crowded we can do in Chicago.
Anse noire was another deep and interesting anchorage. We stopped there for lunch and some great snorkelling. The reefs were really alive with all kinds of life and again we were almost alone. There is a great restaurant on the cliff here too.
Then south, passing Fort de France, the capital and on to the main yachting port and home to four charter companies. This place is made for sailors and you can get absolutely anything you need here from engine spares to sails. The supermarkets even back onto the water so you can get the trolley right to the tender.
Finding this a little too commercial for more than a couple of nights we moved south to St. Anne, the Island of St Lucia in sight we motored carefully into a shallow bay and dropped anchor. This was our favourite. The village is really alive and again centres around a really nice church. Plenty of shopping here too and great food along French lines.
Sadly and all too quickly it was time to come home. I now feel queasy on land as I long to return and will do very soon.