The gentle purr of the engine has given way to a violent crash and rocking. It is a little before 6 on the morning of Christmas Eve and Captain Henri has woken me to greet the sunrise as we make our way across the Dominica Passage, en-route to Les Saintes.
This is breathtaking! The island of Martinique is a far away memory as she lay in the background; clouds adorn her majestic volcano peak and a tiny sliver of orange has cracked the dark horizon. We are under winds of 18 to 23 Kn, with an average boat speed of 10 kn.
We arrived in Fort de France late on Friday without incident, and checked into a hotel halfway between the airport and the marina in Marin. This is where our good fortune took a turn, putting a slight delay in our adventures thus far. I won’t go into many details until I return home, but yours truly did have to attend the most desperate of emergency rooms after sustaining a head wound from a fall. I am fine, and very grateful.
After such an exciting start, we quietly (and finally) embarked from Marin and headed North along the Martinique coast to St. Pierre. This little village tucked below verdant green hills, is the land time has forgotten. A rusted tin-roofed Cathedral stands watch over a waterfront of cobbled streets, lined with shuttered buildings. We tied up our dingy to the sleepy town pier in search of dinner on land. The Religious Holidays are quiet in the islands, so we found only two cafés open. We chose Le Vague, completely open to the clay coloured sands rimming the bay. After playing with the sweet resident stray and her 6 newborn pups, we washed down heaps of fresh fish and spiny lobster with Ti’ Punch (rum, lime and sugar) before heading back to the boat for a good night sleep and an extra-early departure.
We are now fewer than two hours out of Bourg Des Saintes, the main anchorage in Les Saintes, where we plan to spend Christmas Eve swimming off the boat and cooking, and the winds are cooperating well. There is much more to come. Sending you the very best this holiday season. You are all missed, and loved!
Steven & The Sail LaVie Crew
Photos by Jennifer Kurtley & Steven Lake