The Catamaran Adventures of Noel and Ceu
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Happy New Year!

Current Location: St. Anne, Martinique
Current Position: 14 26.46 N 060 53.08 W Click to view map.
Distance sailed since last post: 2 nautical miles. View the map of our voyage track here

Finally customs opened and we were able to check in. We are now legal and able to move to somewhere where we can get internet connection out on the boat. It is Boxing day and we went around the Bay to the cute town of Ste Anne. Great atmosphere, very lively and I enjoyed their local market for fresh vegetables and of course fresh-out-of-the-oven baguette every morning. It was a very short dinghy ride to shore. Same night we arrived, boxing day, we had just finished our dinner out on the boat when this amazing show of fireworks started. What a surprise! We believe they were coming from Club Med.

Noel caught up with some work and we left on the 30th.

Our destination: Trois Islets, just opposite Fort de France.

Very charming and scenic little town. Noel and I picked up a map at the tourist office and went exploring on foot. We really enjoyed the great scenery. (and a yummy ice cream) We took a country-side road that took us to La Pagerie Museum, the original home of Empress Josephine. The guide explained that’s where she lived till she left for France for an arranged marriage at the age of 16. She later married Napoleon, after the first husband died.

On the 31st we sailed around to the big capital Fort de France. I confess I’m not into shopping, but one must check out the French shopping …after all, I read it’s the only place where you can get fashion from Paris. Noel and I set off for more walking! Typical big city stuff, lots of traffic, busy streets,, shoppers everywhere…tried to get into the supermarket, vegetable bins were mostly empty. Noel and I don’t do lineups very well and we don’t really need anything this bad!

Went home and cooked. Enjoyed a great meal of Lobster Thermidor along with our French cheeses, wine, pate and bread.

Waited for fireworks. Nothing. We expected it to be more lively for a big city, but I guess we should have stayed in the small villages; they are way more fun.

Its weekend. We would stay a bit longer and get some stuff for the boat, but as usual everything is closed Saturday and Sunday.

New Years Day at 8:30am we moved on. Three hours later we anchored in St. Pierre. It lies at the foot of Mt. Pelee and it was once known as the Paris of the Caribbean. St.Pierre was once very wealthy. Ships would take on rum, sugar, coffee and cocoa, enough to make some plantation owners multi-millionaires.

It all changed in 1902 when the volcano erupted and destroyed it all along with the population of 30,000 people. All that remained were smoking ruins. People burned to death except for two: a cobbler that was in his cellar, and a prisoner in a stone cell who was in jail for murder.

A lot of the ruins are still there. Some have been built up with houses on top, some form garden walls and some have been tidied up as historical sites. I was amazed and happy to find this historical little place. It now has a population of 5,000 people.

We were anchored just bellow some of the ruins, and also at the same anchorage where12 ships sank in the tragedy. It is now a very popular diving site.

Again Noel and I went on foot and visited some of the remains. Most interesting places were the theater ruins, the prison where Cypron was jailed and the history museum. Took a long hike up the road, very scenic and with great views of the harbor. It took us through some rain forest, rivers and waterfalls. Stopped to visit a Rum distillery. It was closed. No surprise! Did you know that January 2nd is a holiday? Yes, It’s called Recovery day!!! No joke. And again, we had to wait for customs to open the next day Jan 3th, so we could check out since St. Pierre was our last port of entry. Au revoir Martinique

Off to Dominica. Stay tuned!

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