Day 158, Year 6 St. Lucia to Martinique
Date: Thursday, March 31, 2011
Weather: Beautiful Sunny Day; Wind NE 15-20 knots
Latitude: 14 33.245 N
Longitude: 061.03.372 W
Location: Anse Mitan, Martinique-across the bay from Fort-de-France
Bonsoir (it is evening here) from Martinique. Or if you are reading this in the morning, Bonjour. What a delightful surprise we had when we went ashore just after arriving this afternoon. The people here speak French and Creole, and NOT English, but everyone we met was so friendly and went out of their way to help us understand them and to understand us. We first stopped at a Budget Rental Car office to check the price of renting a car for tomorrow. The young woman did speak English and she was so helpful.
We confirmed that it is cheaper for us to rent a car to go to Fort-de-France tomorrow to see the town and check-in and out and then head up the coast to see ruins of St. Pierre than it is to take the public bus. St. Pierre was the capital of Martinique until it was totally destroyed by a volcanic explosion of Mont Pelee in 1902. It took only ten minutes for this town which was nicknamed the “Little Paris of the West Indies” to be totally covered in molten lava. Of the city’s 30,000 people, only three survived. But back to the Budget Rental Car office . . . we will pick the car up at 8am tomorrow morning. We left Budget and walked on up the street to the Oritour (L’Office du Toirisme des Tros Islets). The lady there didn’t speak much English, but she called her friend Julian from across the street at the taxi stand and he came over to answer all our questions. They were incredibly helpful. It was then just a very short walk from the tourist office to La Marine, the marina and marina restaurant and bar. We just had to stop to have a French beer-Lorraine. On the way back to Windbird, we bought a baked chicken and a baguette. We brought it home and made a great salad with the last of our lettuce from Grenada, the chicken, and feta cheese. It was really good and I didn’t have to cook. So that made it extra good.
We will be off early tomorrow for our Martinique explore. Then on Saturday we will head to Dominica, the next island north. We got word from our friend Alan Kanegsberg in Concord, NH, that some really HUGE sailboats are headed to Antigua, we assume for the Antigua Race Week the end of April. We thought we would miss seeing these giants, but evidently they arrive early. So after Dominica, we head to Guadeloupe, and then Antigua to hang out with the big guys for a couple of days.