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We’ve spent the last several days anchored just off Les Anses – D’Arlets, a little village near the southwestern end of Martinique. Although it’s been a bit rolly here, we’ve put up with that because the water is clear, the town is quiet and of course, we’ve been able to pick up Wi-Fi, even if it has been intermittent. We’ve walked around the town (it’s full of cafes and restaurants with views of the sea), done a bit of snorkeling (did I mention that the water is CLEAR?) and yesterday, had an adventuresome hike along the coast (pics to follow another day).

Speaking of coast, we were actually boarded by the Coast Guard here the other day. This is the first time we have had the Coast Guard come on board since we passed through the Hudson River on our initial trip south and coincidentally, we were just having a conversation with our friends about this last week! The four officers were polite but thorough, checking all of our papers and doing a little inspection of the boat. If we knew they were coming we might have cleaned up a bit. πŸ™‚

As nice as this place is, it’s time to move on and we plan on raising anchor to set sail towards Le Marin a bit later this morning. As the route to get there is pretty much straight into the wind, we might just have a bit of a motor sail ahead of us. Our fingers are crossed that we’ll be able to minimize the engine use though.


  1. Satellite photos show HUNDREDS of boats in the harbor. Hope you get some good neighbors.

  2. I can teach you how to Tack so you dont have to use the engine if you would like…..Kidding….Safe Passage

  3. Is that the infamous leaning tower of Les Anses – D’Arlets?? πŸ™‚ Nice pic.

  4. Mike,
    Love the blog – I have become a regular reader. I am going to buy a TRX and want to make sure you get the “credit” for my purchase, if I go through your page does that automatically attribute it to you? If not, what is the best way?

  5. I have been boarded by the coasties once and they were very polite, professional and even had a sense of humor (I was wearing my ZTC thong) and laughs with them….It took 5 minutes. I was organized and passed with flying colors…….Do I like being pulled over and boarded? No! But, I am glad they were doing their jobs and the manner in how they handled themselves was great. When they say “Nothing is wrong captain, we are just doing a spot check”….

    • In this case it was obvious they were doing spot checks because they had previously visited other boats in the anchorage.

  6. Why would a US coast guard board a canadian flagged vessel in foreign waters? what did they say the reason was

    • It was not US Coast Guard who boarded us here. It was the French Coast Guard. In the Hudson River, it was the US Coast Guard.

  7. Mike,

    Would you be willing to do a post on the stuff they were looking for when you were boarded? It would be helpful for those of us still in the planning stage to know what types of things we need to have our ducks in a row.

    S/V Kintala

    • Both times we were boarded they checked passports and boat documentation. This included calling in the numbers and checking them against the computer files back in their office. They asked the usual questions: where did you come from, when did you arrive, when are you leaving, where are you going next, do you have guns, do you have a bunch of money on board (LOL), etc.

      The French Coast Guard did a bit of a search of our vessel, opening the odd cupboard, etc., looking around. If them had seen anything inappropriate, it might have gone further.

      The US Coast Guard checked safety equipment (flares, etc.) as well as holding tank plumbing.

      Does that help?

  8. I am going to assume that Rebecca was on deck in that bikini(or worse) and that is the main reason CG came by to say hello.. Happened to us, on a PDQ32 no less.

    • That is EXACTLY the reason why were boarded back in the US. Rebecca was on the tramp working out in shorts and a bikini top and amazingly they selected us out of 50 other boats to check!

  9. I was watching your track on the SPOT system. Good to see that you are actually tacking to windward, not just motoring.

    You do seem to be tacking through a lot more than 100deg each time. Do you have problems with your sheeting angles. It is a common difficulty on wide cats. I have the same.


    • Are you suggesting that we don’t know how to trim our sails? πŸ˜‰

      We had wind, waves and current opposing us and were only able to sail about 60 deg. true. (a bit better on one tack, a bit worse on the other.)

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