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For those who have yet to visit, it’s probably hard to imagine the extreme difference between the two adjacent islands of Martinique, where our boat now lies at anchor, and it’s neighbor Dominica to the north. Not to pass judgement about which island is more favorable, because that would depend entirely on your tastes, but I fail to see any similarity at all, at least when using the cosmopolitan city of Fort de France as a measuring stick.

To begin, there is the obvious language issue, Martinique being French while Dominicans speak primarily English. That’s just scratching the surface though. While we find that Dominica is 100% Caribbean in flavor, Martinique makes me think of what Paris may be like, if we were ever to visit there. The streets of Fort de France are lined with cafes, bakeries and clothing stores which are filled with, what I assume is, the latest fashions (we’ve been out of the fashion loop for a fair period of time so aren’t really in a position to judge “what’s in” these days).

Busy streets lined with shops.

An actual “shopping mall.”

Rebecca splurged on some new ‘Cheap Sunglasses.’
Her last pair of sunglasses are lying somewhere on a hiking trail back in Les Saintes.

Not speaking French, the language barrier is no doubt an issue for us. So, it could be that, or it might be a city thing, but while walking the streets yesterday, the majority of the pedestrians seemed a lot more aloof when compared to Dominicans. Perhaps when we get outside of the city we’ll notice a change.

While we’re on the subject of differences, can someone tell me why the Wi-Fi services in all the French islands SUCK when compared to that of their neighbors? I’m not just talking about unlocked signals here. I’m referring to any signals accessible from a boat. St. Martin was brutal in this respect and so was St. Barth’s. Martinique, at least in Fort de France, is no better. Dominica, on the other hand, had multiple signals available, both unlocked and paid, and so did Antigua and St. Kitts. I don’t get it. Come on guys… opportunities are being missed!

We do love the shopping opportunities here, and you can’t beat the fact that to clear in with customs in Fort de France you do so via a computer terminal at Sea Services, the best-stocked boat chandlery that we’ve seen since St. Martin. While one of our goals for Martinique is to resist the temptation of spending a bunch of money here, there were a number of boat things that were on “the list” and we were happy to be able to find virtually all of them in that one store. Now that we’ve done so though, I see a work day or two in our future!

Our “booty” from the chandlery.


  1. Mike, you guys should check out the Club Med Buccaneer’s Creek, Cite’ Pointe Marin, Martinique ? Located between the coves of Arlet and LA pointe des Salines, opposite the Diamand Isle??

    ?Cité Pointe Marin, Sainte Anne En Martinique 97227, Martinique?
    +596 596 76 72 72 ?? ·

    Mythical Resort in the heart of a tropical garden and cocunut grove.?? Water sports: water skiing, wakeboard, windsurfing, scuba diving*, snorkeling?? Well being and realxation in the Club Med Spa*?? Discovery*: excursions by 4×4, bus, jet-ski or catamaran..

    I think its just south of you and I went there back in the late 80’s and stayed there for a week, and had a wonderful time. You may be able to stay a while and do day charters with your boat. They normally offer day passes for very cheap when you go to the local office (not on-line) and you can use all the facilities and enjoy all the great food.

    • Hi Terry

      At present, our insurance does not cover us doing any commercial work on the boat (charters). I also do not yet have in my possession the commercially endorsed Yachtmaster license, although it is hopefully on its way.

      We will be heading over in that area in the next few days. Perhaps we’ll look that place up. 🙂

  2. Hahaha!!! I wouldn’t worry about being ‘behind’ in the fashion department and I certainly wouldn’t get caught up on it in the islands, if I were you. I remember a day of shopping in Road Town on Tortola and what passed for fashion there. I’m telling you, it’s a whole different dress sense there and not someplace I’d go to update my wardrobe!!

    I was in Paris in 2007 and I don’t recall seeing any street that looked like the one in the photo you have up. Again, the Caribbean is a place to itself.

    I know which island I’d prefer!!

  3. Thanks Mike…great first day recon update as usual. Nice pics …but too bad about the wi-fi situation on the french islands….they’re definitely missing the bus in that regard. We love french bakeries…..and a bonus for us is that Alex is bilingual (French), and her spanish isn’t too bad either. I’ll just stand there and nod my head and say oui or non. 🙂 Safe travels as you explore and hike your way around the island…cheers!

    • Being able to speak French would be an asset. We can both speak much more French (and Portuguese) than we can French though. As for the Wi-Fi… je ne le comprends pas.

  4. Nice “halo” effect!


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