The French West Indies

We made it into the French West Indies this week, and spent 6 days in Martinique, which is a department of France.  The natives spoke fluent French, but almost no English, and were in general very friendly.  The exception to this was a few of the younger males with NBA gear sulking around the streets and one crazy German guy in our anchorage that told everyone to get the “F” out of his bay every time someone pulled in.  He got so mad at one boat, he pulled up his anchor, moved over to anchor within a few feet of the boat, screamed at him for a while, pulled up anchor and then went back to his spot.  I’m not sure what his issue was, but did notice that no one invited him over for cocktails while we were there.

French Customs and Immigration is hilarious.  We checked in and out at the same time, which it turns out you’re not supposed to do, and the women behind the desk didn’t look at passports, drivers license, boat documentation, my face;  nothing at all.  I don’t think they really care whether you even show up.

We spent our first night in St. Pierre where, in 1902, Mt Pelee erupted and burned almost 30,000 people to death in a pyroclastic flow of hot volcanic gases over 1800 degrees F travelling at 450 miles per hour.  There were only two survivors: a cobbler and a murderer in his cell.  The town is still a mess 111 years later and has never really recovered.

The anchorage there is very difficult since water shallow enough to anchor is only 200 feet from shore and if the winds shift, you can end up on the beach.  You must also stay out of the way of the local fisherman.  As there is no way to know in advance where they will cast their nets each day, you are often asked to move and must do so immediately.  We moved immediately.


Martinique (20)
Anchored 200′ off St. Pierre Hoping the Wind Doesn’t Shift


Next stop was Fort de France, the capital of Martinique.  It is a bustling city with great shopping, restaurants and, best of all, French bakeries!  I lived on chocolate croissants for five full days, and never saw Ann without a baguette in her hand.  The anchorage there is great, other than the Nazi war criminal, and is located right in town.  We were anchored under the old Fort St Louis built in 1638 which houses the French naval forces, even today.


Martinique (7)
Anchored in Fort-de-France Bay, at the Mouth of the Madame River


After six days in France, we bid adieu and headed of to British St. Lucia.  We had about a 7 hour sail in mostly good weather.  After being anchored near rain forests on our last few islands, we arrived to a welcome site, one of our first sunny days in almost four weeks.

Next up, St. Vincent, Bequia, Grenada and our final destination this summer, Trinidad.  Only 210 nautical miles and three weeks left before we fly home to the US for a two month visit.  We are really looking forward to visiting family and friends.

Please comment if you visit, so we know you were here!



Martinique (14)
Sunset over Fort St Louis


Martinique (36)
Rounding Point Du Diamant on the Southern Tip of Martinique and Headed for Open Ocean


Martinique (4)
At the Downtown Dinghy Dock, With the Ann Louse Anchored Behind


Martinique (15)
Our First Beer in Martinique


Martinique (26)
The Fishermen of St. Pierre Preparing for Their Evening Catch


Martinique (11)
The Catholic St Louis Cathedral in Martinique


Matinique (21)
Open Air Market in Martinique


Matinique (19)
A view of Fort St Louis From our Morning Walk


Matinique (14)
Scamming Internet From the Local Bakery (I did buy several croissants)


Matinique (13)
Eating Out in Martinique for my Birthday


Matinique (10)
A Beautiful Abbey in Martinique




14 thoughts on “The French West Indies”

  1. amazing video… We could get seasick just watching….
    Can’t wait to see you when your back!
    Hugs and happy landings-
    Al and Judi

  2. Congratulations on doing the hard part,,not the voyage but cutting those lines!! And getting out there. Enjoy Chagaramas, Crews Inn and Peaks will take very good care of you. Be sure to visit the Asa Wright bird sanctuary, and the leatherbacks laying eggs on the beach..I wondered if that Nazi was still there??

    Dennis and Julie Fox.
    Krogen Alumni
    Sea Fox
    Kadey-Krogen. 5801

  3. Awesome journey, great video and pics! Let us know when you are in Charleston next. We were in Isle of Palms at the beach this past weekend and were thinking of you all.

  4. Hi guys, all looks fantastic! We will keep certainly keep an an eye out for psychopathic Nazis!

    We are anchored off Cumberland Island, GA. Beautiful but not as exotic as where you are.

    Getting hauled this week, not back until Oct or Nov.

  5. I love following all your adventures on your blog and Facebook!!! I’m envious as you are getting very professional with WordPress and your videos. Keep ’em coming and stay safe.

  6. Love the video! You two must have cast iron stomachs, sailing all of that rough water; maybe the beer and bakery helped.

  7. We have really enjoyed your journey! All of the pictures and interesting adventures along the way have been entertaining for sure…hope the rest of your trip is just as amazing and that you and Ann have a safe trip back home, still envious!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *