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At this time last year, Rebecca and I were en route from Gatun Lake, in the middle of the Panama Canal, heading towards the Pacific Ocean. It was definitely a highlight of 2016. Today, I expect, will be much less eventful. Our plans are to make a quick run into town (Le Marin) to stock up on cooking gas*, and to clear out of Martinique. Yes, after 2 months of remaining stationary, our intention is to make a brief trip south to St. Lucia, departing early tomorrow morning. We’ll likely only remain there for a day or two, long enough to do some shopping, and to hopefully share a drink or two with some friends. After that, we’ll be back to Martinique.

*Non-European boats that use propane for cooking are often surprised to find that they can not purchase the gas that they need on the French islands. If you use propane in North American style tanks, be sure to stock up before you come here.

One downside to remaining stationary for so long is that the anchor chain can develop a significant amount of growth on it. Not the entire chain, mind you, but rather just the portion that hangs down from the surface of the water towards the sea floor. The chain that lies horizontally along the bottom seldom develops growth because the constant motion of it scraping against the sand keeps it clean.

A tip to deal with this problem, if you know that you’re going to be departing, is to let out enough additional chain for the fouled part to reach the bottom. The theory is that, if you do this a couple of days before you plan to leave, it will allow the fouled portion of the chain to scrape on the bottom, hopefully removing some of the plant life. As we let out that extra chain yesterday, we’ll see how well it works when we bring up our anchor tomorrow, assuming that we can dislodge our massive Mantus from the sand.


You can see the marks in the sand where the chain has been rubbing.

A January 2017 summary of posts:

More to satisfy my own curiosity than anything else, I decided to post a summary of what we put online last month. The following is a list of titles, along with links to the posts, followed by a brief description of how I would categorize them:


  1. Glad to hear you are going for a sail! You should say hi to Niko and Melissa while you are in St. Lucia.

    Beam winds!

  2. Have a good sail… and good time to clean the bottom of the boat off too..

  3. Thanks for the propane tip. Headed out today to increase our supply!

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