Monday, March 17, 2014

More Saints and Volcanos

After leaving Dominica, we contined onto the largest of the windward islands, Martinique. We found what looked like a great little town on the chart and hoped it would be all that we expected since we haven't heard any other cruisers mention it.

St Pierre, named for a pirate who settled here, is on the northwest corner of Martinique and at one point was considered the "Paris of the West Indies". It had been the commercial center of the southern Caribbean and the capital of Martinique since the 1600s. It was settled by the Arawaks, then the Caraibs, then the French, the British and back to the French....UNTIL 1902. St Pierre had a population of 30,000 and 29,999 were killed by the eruption of Mt Pelee except one prisoner in the town jail, Cyrus. 

Quite a story of this little town and when you see an artist sketch with pirate ships anchored out front, it looks exactly the same as today. 

The anchorage is on a 20-foot shelf about 300 meters wide but drops to over 100 feet on the seaward side and has a steep shore break on the land side. We found a perfect spot, dropped the hook, took care of lots of chores and indulged in our inner Frenchmen (very few people speak ANY English)

Have I mentioned we really like French islands?
Baxter and Kala as we motored down the lee of Dominica

Someone wanted to come play on our bow.

Looking at us straight in the eye.

Having a blast…this lasted for about 15 min.

Dolphin and whale spotting (yes, we saw both but couldn't get the whale was camera shy.)

The lay of the land.  Anchorage on the left (you can see the small shelf of 20 ft.)

French islands are the best.  Clearing into "customs."

A full-fledged lavarie (notice the cost $10 USD for 14 lbs., that's just to wash.)
Grocery shopping in the market.

The Battery.  Houses from the 1700s that were built for those who worked at the fort.  Destroyed by the volcano.
St Pierre (Terrapin on right, towards the front.)

Mt Pelee volcano.  Twelve boats sank in the anchorage when it erupted.

French towns all have their own beautiful churches.

Token Carribean sunset.  I'm a sucker.


Doug Hand said...

Really enjoying these blog I have to go back and catch up on past adventures!

Sabrina and Tom said...

Ok, we are adding this to our list as we head south.

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