March 29, 2009
Rodney Bay, St. Lucia
“The anchor heaves, the ship swings free, the sails swell full. To sea, to sea!”
We spent over a week in Dominica. Our final day was spent with Sergie (Red Man’s brother-in-law) for a tour of the south side of the island. It was a full day of sightseeing and we had a great time. We drove all the way to the southern tip of Dominica to Scott’s Head and enjoyed a great lunch. We wandered around the busy city of Roseau and we soaked our weary limbs in the natural sulphur baths in Soufreire. We realized that we could spend another month in Dominica and still not have seen all of the wonderful sights it offers.
But, the call of the sea was upon us and it was time to sail south yet again. We set our course for St. Pierre, Martinique, a quaint little seaside town at the base of the Mount Pele volcano. In 1902, Pele erupted and killed all but two residents of the town (30,000 people) – one survivor was a prisoner on death row for murder in a concrete cell (you can tour his tiny cell). There are still some remains of the pre-Pele eruption days. We arrived and decided not to anchor there after all since there was a large swell coming in making the anchorage untenable. We continued on to Fort de France, a more protected spot and a supposed bustling center of activity. We didn’t particularly care for it, as it was a bit run down and dead.
We did rent a car to explore more of what Martinique had to offer. We jammed ourselves in the tiny little 3 cylinder, standard French car they gave us and set off to see the Northern part of the island. We had a great time climbing Mount Pele as far up as our little French car would allow us to go. We had some frightening moments as our little car would die and go backwards downhill while we were trying to climb the mountain. The Pirate used his impressive automotive skills to keep our little clunker going and climbing, but approaching the end of the road the car just quit on us. We had to shoo some cows out of the way to make room to turn around and head back down (which the car did just fine). We visited the Depaz Rum Distillery and were enchanted with the estate and the rum making process. We decided that it was a good time to stock up, so we bought a case of assorted Depaz rums and sampled all we bought. We ended the day with a drive through the rainforests and a stop to watch the surfers navigate the big waves rolling in.
Two nights in Martinque was all we could handle, it was time to move away from the land of frogs and head to St Lucia. We had great sail with 20 knot winds and beam reach. We experience speed up to 10 knots and as we approached Rodney Bay we hooked a nice yellow fin tuna. We will have good eats tonight!
We are looking forward to discovering St. Lucia and all it has to offer.