After two months on the hard, while her owners were visiting family over the holidays, the Ann Louise finally splashed back into the ocean on February 8th. We wanted to get to Martinique and St. Lucia and just two days after arriving in Trinidad a weather window appeared that promised seas of only 6-9′, but with the possibility of strong thunderstorms and rain showers, so we were in a hurry.
Unfortunately, the Ann Louise was not in a hurry, and maybe a little upset about being left alone for the holidays. Just 20 minutes after going back in the water and right after we arrived at the customs dock in Trinidad to clear out to Grenada, she blew the engine cooling pump, and 10 minutes later the generator cooling pump. After 4 hours in the engine room cursing engineers who design bolts to be hidden where no wrench can reach them, we finally headed out in the harbor with our hopes of beating the evening thunderstorms fading quickly. As we passed the old US Naval base in Trinidad, now the Trinadian Coast guard station, we were overtaken by a twin engine center console with five machine gun toting Coasties that informed us were going to have a “courtesy” inspection, and that we had to proceed to and dock at the old Naval base. So much for an early start!
Anyway, after 40 hours, some occasionally really uncomfortable seas, some really beautiful calm seas and a few serious lines of squalls, we finally pulled into the southern shores of Martinique at 4:30 am and idled in 1000′ of water just off the sand bank until first light. We were greeted by our good friends Richard and Lavinia Maggs on the Krogen 42 Partners who had thoughtfully sent us the lat/lon for the approach, their location and most importantly prepared a large pitcher of Bloody Marys! A huge thanks to Nick Starr for tracking our progress north and helping us navigate through bands of squalls during the trip!
We spent three wonderful days in Sainte Anne’s, Martinique anchored in 20′ of turquoise water just minutes from fresh croissants, french coffee, topless french sunbathers and a Catholic church (not necessarily in order of importance, although it’s a pretty good sequence if you think about it).
After Martinique, we back-tracked 25 miles through really messy 8′ seas to Rodney Bay Marina in St. Lucia where we rented a slip for a month, cleaned the 1/4″ of salt off the rails and awaited our friends Don and Donna Bornhorst from Minneapolis. Don is an old co-worker of Ann’s from her accounting days in Cincinnati working for Deloitte & Touche, and he is now Delta’s VP in charge of all regional airlines, including ASA for whom I flew for 10 years. We did a three day grand tour of St. Lucia, including Rodney Bay Marina, the beautiful Marigot Bay and Anse de Pitons, an anchorage between two beautiful peaks on the southern end of the island.
We had a wonderful three days including dinner at the Rainforest Hideaway and a strenuous afternoon hike in Marigot Bay, catching a huge Wahoo, a REALLY strenous/treacherous hike half way up Petit Piton, and a rousing game of Midwestern Euchre. We hope someday they return!