Friday, March 18, 2016


After a week of twists and turns in English Harbour, we headed west. Up to Old Road Bluff, which is almost the mid-way, water is free of hazards 100 yards away from the shore; however almost after the bluff, a mile square of reefs lie to the south of the island, leaving a narrow channel to navigate through, in order to get to the west shore. It is possible to go from either side of the reefs, but the channel is more protected with calm waters, and south of the scattered reefs is exposed to the east winds and high seas.

Against my character, I insisted that we take the channel, against Al's suggestion to the other route, fearing that his patience might run out while making such a big arc, and run into trouble. After going  into the channel, it became obvious that; first of all it was not very narrow, secondly, the reefs to the south were quite visible, and the rocks on the way to the north were avoidable, and not too far out of the shore. The most amazing part is the varying colours of the water, the shallow parts being a watery turquoise, navigable parts (mostly around 16 - 20 ft) a little deeper, but in no way dark. However, the water was calm, while the outer seas kept on roaring and breaking on the reefs in the distance.

After turning the south west corner, getting to Jolly harbour takes half an hour. The sea in the whole area is very shallow, with some even shallower points here and there. North of Jolly bay, leading to the harbour is protected by a cluster of rocks called Five Islands, and a connected bluff. A smaller mound to the south separates it from a long strip of sparkling white sandy beach, called Jolly beach, a famous destination for the cruise-ship passengers and vacationers. There are a number of resorts / short duration rental homes etc around the area, which drive prices high for the cruisers. The marina at the end of the harbour is popular, the long term storage fees for the boatyard is supposed to be competitive to Grenada and Trinidad. However, everything else is expensive.

We came to the Jolly Bay, and dropped anchor in 8 ft of water, close to the harbour entrance.

According to Doyle, a long and narrow channel was dredged in the middle of the bay to form the entrance to the harbour, which is well marked (intended for boats with deep draft). Of course we don't care.

We will stay here for a week and start our way back to martinique.

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