Last year when we arrived in Martinique for a few days, we were disappointed and at the least very underwhelmed by the island. This was probably due to it being shut. Well it was Easter weekend. By shut I mean everything was closed and the shutters were down apart from the odd bar. Oh and it rained, oh and we had the incident of nearly being run down by a Danish boat. All in all it was not a weekend we look back on fondly. However, we decided we needed to give it another chance. Also we didn't relish a two week wait on St Lucia, for the arrival of a new dinghy.
So we set off early in the morning for the 45 mile sail to St Pierre from Rodney Bay. The sail across the channel was a fast broad reach, with Darrell being thoroughly entertained by some young Boobies (the brown bird variety) diving at the bow to catch the flying fish. We made good time and soon had Fort de France in view, where we spied a catamaran we know well 'Four Winds' and so the race began. Both skippers being true sailors were not going to be put off by the vagaries of a coastal caribbean wind. Stubbornly putting in tiny tacks to catch any small gust when the wind died away. It is frustrating going from a good 9knots to nothing in less than a mile. Bobbing about with no wind is not the most fun, but as an undeclared race was underway neither skipper was going to put on the engine and motor sail.
Luckily, Darrell found the wind first and we happily sailed into St Pierre bay and anchored near to the dock. Four Winds after a couple of attempts and the breaking of their anchor mechanism took a mooring on a dive buoy. Anchoring in St Pierre is always a bit of a challenge as the sea floor is littered with wrecks from the 1902 volcano eruption which wiped out the town. One yacht was unlucky enough to have got its anchor and chain wrapped up on one and required the help of a friendly diver to release them. (The dive school quote €700 to help, where as they managed to get help for €50 and a good bottle of rum! Helps to know the right people!)
This time St Pierre was open and welcoming. The weather was good and the company of friends made for an entertaining time. We all went snorkelling and to our delight we all saw a Seahorse for the first time: