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Being the “prudent mariners” that we are ( 🙂 ), we checked multiple sources for weather info before we set sail from Anse de Bourg towards Martinique. As you can imagine, we were very happy (sarcasm) to get such a nice consensus with winds forecast between 3 and 20 knots and seas of 1 to 8 feet. Well, although we didn’t come across any eight foot waves, we did see just about everything else, including winds from the southwest which were not forecast. As we had been warned by our friends, once outside of the protection of the islands, the trade winds blow with their full force. When in the lee of the islands though, in this case Dominica and Martinique, we experienced calm seas with fluky and light winds.

Although we generally like to set out on a passage with both our fuel tank full and our jerry cans topped up in reserve, this time we set sail with only about three quarters of a tank (perhaps 24 gallons or so). We were pretty happy then to find that we had wind of sufficient speed, and from a reasonable direction, that we could sail a good portion of the trip. We ended the passage having only used about a 1/4 tank of gasoline.

Twenty hours after departing Guadeloupe we dropped our hook in Fort de France, Martinique, just under the high stone walls of Saint-Louis Fort. After completing our usual drill of making sure the boat isn’t going to go anywhere without us (backing down on the anchor and then diving to visually inspect the set) and getting the boat all tidy again, we set off in search for customs. I know I spoke highly of our customs experience in Puerto Rico and we loved how laid back it was clearing in at Jost Van Dyke in the BVIs. Martinique wins the prize though! No bureaucrats playing big-fish-in-the-small-pond to deal with here. Instead, you clear into Martinique by visiting the city’s largest chandlery (boat stuff store), filling out a form on a computer terminal and then having the store clerk stamp it. That’s it! No money and no hassle. I Love it.

By the way, some people took note that I was checking into our Facebook page while underway and were curious about our Wi-Fi setup. All we were using was the Alfa booster that I showed in Thursday’s pics. In my opinion, you can’t beat the price/performance of this little guy (it costs under 40 bucks and we were 2.75-3 miles offshore when I was posting). In fact, they’re so cheap you should carry two (one for a backup). We do!

Rebecca, playing with her practice Poi.

No, this isn’t a regatta. This is just the mid-morning shuffling of charter boats where we were anchored in Anse de Bourg. 95% of them were 40′ plus cats, with a couple monohulls thrown in for variety.

Another cool anchorage by Anse de Bourg is in the Lee of this big cliff.

Our Martinique anchorage in Fort du France. We are anchored inside the green/yellow/red circle.

Is this a “sign” that we were supposed to visit here?

No kids, this definitely ain’t Tim Hortons!

3 Comments

  1. andy & sonja cru-zinacatamaran - Reply

    Great to here you got there in “sort of comfort” & We take it there were no Fish ? as for the “paper work stuff” what is it they ask for apart from your passports ? In fact is there a list that you take ? all info is very helpful as uk & Australia “now” require you to have a boating license like an “RYA” Ticket even a basic one & i have heard of one area requires a 3 rd party liability Insurance policy. I have my Power boat RYA 1,2 & 3 but probably need to change them to a sailing one as i also had to “log ” my hours on the water.
    The Map pic , is that from your Garmin or comp ? & Sonja asked is that a Long Black coffee ? as she is a manager of a coffee house here in Napier & some times the Americans call it by a different name “& we know you are Canadian” so is it the same LOL thanks & have a great weekend.

    • The info the forms typically require are:
      boat name
      boat registration number
      country of registration
      gross tonnage
      hull material
      colour
      number of masts
      number of engines
      total horsepower
      last port of call
      next port of call
      number of crew
      crew names
      passport numbers
      citizenship

      Perhaps a few other things but that’s the standard stuff. The customs isn’t the issue. It’s more often the immigration.
      How long are you going to be here? Where are you going? Do you have enough money, etc. We even got that in Jost Van Dyke!
      This time there was none of that stuff.

      They never ask for boating certifications, or insurance, although I have heard that some places require that, and for good reason. I don’t want some uninsured wanker dragging into our boat/home!

      The map pic is a screen capture from our computer charting program (GPSNavX).

      The coffee is just a coffee, that is what we ordered. To us it’s more like an espresso. I forget that we if order a cafe americano, it would normally come out more like we typically drink.

    • and no, there were no fish caught. Grrrrrr!

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