Le Marin – encore !

For Amel owners in the Caribbean, getting back to Le Marin is like an addiction:  very hard to shake but usually a pleasure.  So instead of going to Fort de France for picking up the Admiral and Daniel’s family, we’re in Le Marin for only one reason:  repair facilities.  This time the freezer 2 is getting a new evaporator to fix its leaks.  Or should I say that is the plan?

A good week ago, Kincsem left Point a Pitre, Guadeloupe for the shortish hop to Martinique, which left us some time to explore places in between.  Tom Struttman and I were joined by Iain Wright, a Brit who’s interested in joining Team Kincsem for the World ARC next year.   Before departing the marina, we explored Point a Pitre a bit more, including a visit to the slavery museum Memorial Acte.  Interesting factoid: there are 35 million slaves today, almost all of them in Africa!

Memorial ACTe

If you want to order this jacuzzi, contact me!

Multi-use church steeple!

Point a Pitre market

They take the dead seriously in Guadeloupe – they build them houses – with a view of the cruise ships if you look carefully!

Our first stop was Marie Galante, an island flat as a pancake just a few miles to the South East from Point a Pitre.   To call it sleepy is a bit of an understatement and most of the places described in the handbook seemed closed.  Nonetheless, and surprisingly, we did not get into the one restaurant that looked intriguing and was open without an advance reservation!

We found the one open bar in Marie Galante!

Next stop was Les Saintes, Marigot Bay.  Another beautiful bay in the les Saintes islands – a winner.

Marigot Bay, Iles de Saintes

The West Coast of Guadeloupe is very dramatic and we wanted to hike the Soufriere Volcano, some 1400 meters high.  So we sailed Marina de Sud, Bas de Terre, on the SW corner of the island.  The anchorage is very tricky as it is very deep except for a very narrow shelf and the winds and currents push the boats around in unpredictable ways.  With some difficulty we found a spot between other anchored boats and all looked ok.  Yet the morning after when I made my usual espresso at 6 am and headed for the cockpit to enjoy it,  I found that Kincsem was floating about 2 meters away from a somewhat delapidated, rusty steel yacht!   The espresso was put aside and the engine was on in 5 seconds.  The anchor came up in no time  but of the 50 meters of chain down, only the last 10 meters moved the boat at all – the rest of the chain was obviously piled up below the boat!   This time we anchored well away from other boats ½ mile away from the harbor.  Nothing like peace of mind!

Hiking Soufriere on Easter Sunday was definitely an experience.  Half the island of Guadeloupe seemed to be on the trail with only a very few tourists thrown in.   At the top, we could view some sulfur fumes escaping from the Earth – but only briefly when the fog cleared.

When we were in Portsmouth, Dominica, in January, there was no time to explore.  This time, we had some time and hired a guide – Lawrence of Arabia – whom Iain knew from his last visit her in 2017.   Lawrence, whose name is not Lawrence and who’s never been to and has no relation to Arabia, unfortunately farmed out  the land part of the tour to his somewhat speechless son who was not very forthcoming with information.   Nonetheless, we saw a lot of the Northern part of the island, most of it spectacular.

Farmland in Dominica!

The mechanical condition of Junior’s van was on par with his skills as a tourist guide!

You guessed it:  Red Rock!

At the end of the day, LoA showed up in person and rowed us up and down the Indian river.    A phantastic excursion topped off by visit to the jungle bar!

Pirates of the Caribbean 2 was filmed here

Lawrence of Arabia

Easter Monday celebrations in Dominica

We visited Sainte Pierre, Martinique before, in January.  What a difference this time!  Last time, it appeared dark, and even threatening when we first set foot ashore in the dark of the evening.  This time, we found our old friends Bruno and Elaine Cotte on Amel 55 Tertio already anchored there and arranged to meet them for dinner in the Alsatian restaurant we had spurned last time.   The restaurant serves also as the check-in for Martinique so you can use the customs computer onsite while enjoying an aperitif!  We had a great time and the food was excellent – even without Sauerkraut!  Walking back to the dinghy in the dark, there was light in the streets and people around! 

The next morning we explored the museum of the eruption of the volcano Mt Pelee in 1902 which was fascinating.  Unlike the eruption of Soufriere in Montserrat which was slow and covered the island in relatively harmless ash, the eruption of Mt Pelee involved a violent explosion and a cloud of 600C hot gases racing down the mountain destroying everything and killing everyone in seconds.  Some 28,000 people died in an instant!

Damage done by the volcanic eruption in 1902

Life is not all peachy in St Pierre …


Habitation Ceron, a botanical garden cum restaurant in the North of Martinique recommended by Bruno

Before Le Marin, we anchored overnight in St Anne, a lovely town right next to Le Marin with a popular beach and anchorage.   Definitely better to anchor there than be at the dock in Le Marin  …..

Bar boats in St Anne bay!


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