Sunday, December 22, 2013

SAILING TOWARDS THE DIAMANT

About a week after our guests came, we had to take water from the Le Marin fuel dock, so we thought we could sail in the morning towards Grande Anse D'Arlet at the west coast of Martinique first, and come back to Le Marin to anchor. Al thought that the major storm was stalled until the evening, so we would have time to turn the corner of the south coast of Martinique, which sticks out straight to the west, and come back. There is a small rock island called Diamant at the Pointe du Diamante, the major landmark visible from a long distance at the corner.

We weighed anchor in the morning, and started towards the rock.  As soon as we got to the safe waters (from fish traps), Al ordered the genoa to be unfurled, and on we went with 4.5 - 5 knots. It was not all that smooth sailing though, the wind was quite strong, with a forecast of 30 - 35 knots in the afternoon. As we went half way down, having wind on our backs, I started thinking that it would be much harder and longer to come back in the afternoon against such force. If we would go as far as the Arlet, we would have to stay the night, which is not advisable in high winds, the seas get quite rolly and untenable with north swells. We know, since we had been there the last time around. We were amazed to see how the Martinque sailors tie their dinghies to the high dinghy docks; they bring the nose of the dinghy almost to the deck, while only the back side touching water, so that they hang from the side of the dock, for them not to swing with the swells.

We turned around before reaching the rock, and had a short swimming stop at St Anne, before going in to the lagoon to take water at the fuel dock. While we were busy with the water, a  mono-hull came and tied to the back to get fuel. A young lady and a man started talking to Al, asking about our Swiss flag.  We told him that we had visitors from there, and Oguz struck up a conversation with them, who were also from Geneva. Small world. My mother used to say that if one had a bad reputation, there would be no escape from it. Thank God.

A little later, an old man, whom we had seen before at St Anne, came to ask about the same flag. He said he had seen our boat before, but the flag was not there, why now? We had to explain about our visitors. That man was from Bern, Switzerland, and was waiting for his wife to arrive in Martinique.

After our social interaction, it was time to anchor, somewhere close to a safe dinghy dock, since their departure date was around the corner. They only had one more day, before taking off on Sunday night. So we were planning on spending time in Le Marin, and let them taste the poulet boucane. I asked Simone what boucane meant earlier, but she had no idea (it must be a made up word). She was intrigued, and asked a vendor at the market. The vendor was surprised, "what do you mean? Boucane means boucane!" We laughed a lot afterwards, imitating him "c'est boucane!".

Le Marin is not very interesting, but well protected. So we were ready for the storms. As we do not know how St Anne would be affected by the storm, I would rather be in a protected place, especially while hosting guests.

1 comment:

  1. Sailing is a great experience really. I have recently started sailing. New York is a great place for sailing. It is really nice place.
    Corporate outing

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