Sunday, 26 February 2012

Martinique to Dominica

....continuing on from

1. Wyuna is still afloat in the Caribbean Sea!
Afloat at Sainte Pierre -Martinique
We've partyed at Carnaval, sailed 2up from Martinique across a passage nth to Dominica, met inspiring international yachties. Visiting St Pierre, we saw the ruins of Mt Pelee eruption ..a tragedy of politics gone wrong.
Life here is veerry nature hugging, snorkeling at Champagne Beach with thermal bubbles, a walk in the UNESCO park and to top it off ..a sulphur spa soak.
Dominica Hot Spring
Fort de France(FdF), the capital of Martinique was a great spot for our last night with Mal and Sue. "We are all so glad we made it to a french island". What better way....................
sharing a french carib creole night with sunset champers, a relaxed dinner at La Baie, hearing drum beats on the street and a full moon. We all wondered - how will we ever recover from such a fantastic sailing holiday?  

Mal & Sue -Fort De France Martinique

No more lobster bbq's on the deck, dancing at the Lambi Queen, breakfasts geeking at nude bathers (Europeans of course, we're too shy)...Thanks so much Mal&Sue for a fantastic time together on our first leg of the carib, full of laughs, peanut sundowners and "our cheers" on board. Sue our tour guide, took us to exceptional piton sights, fine dining in the Round House and kept our spirits up on "not another bad fridge day".

Lucky us, in Fort-De- France for Carnaval:Tradition Modernite .
The week before lent, is verry electrifying, drums beat all night, a natural high, can't take your eyes of the street for a second!

The street parade started at 3pm with "Valva", a gigantic octopus-the greedy one who eats everything, grabbing all with huge tentacles- til 3 days later he dies and locals weep in the park from relief. The pictures say it all.  Just to explain, each town enters a Skene band, drummers bang goat skins, Zouk dancers go wild, all ages dress to impress or you can simply join in to show off your costume (& body). We'll definitely dress up next year?
Carnaval- Fort De France

Going 2 up on board is not the same. Mal really knows every part of Wyuna, IS the only fishcatcher, verry patiently taught Gina to anchor, raise the main, and use his new data base log - so Wyuna is cruising in top gear!   Our sail to ST Pierre, from FdF was 18nms, sunny with an occasional shower, Wyuna cruised at 8knots. Bruce is rapt with the Speed Over Ground.
Mt Pelee sailpast
Yachties told us about the active volcano, it's 7kms from town and killed 30,000 people in 1902 who tragically didn't leave because ..... it was the first vote for blacks & traders didn't want to lose business!! So only 5000 people live here now.
Needless to say we didn't walk the trail to the crater, instead we sailed to Dominica to spend a week going on inland trips. 

Nature, nature, is good for the soul!(&bodyrocking on land). On our day trips by local bus we found Wyuna's namesake, clear, clear water at Emerald Pool, Trafalgar "mamma and pappa" falls, and the not so clear sulphur thermal yellow pools.  As 60% of the island is untouched thick rain forest on steep pitons -its the pride of the people. Not surprising the British and French have both fought for and ruled the island. It's a UNESCO park and 17,000 hcs, of trails, iguana's, hummingbirds, parrots...and verry fresh air and cool. Beautiful.
Emerald Pool

Pirates of the Caribbean 2&3 was filmed around Dominica. Island hopping is part of the great tradition of Caribs moving from Sth America in precolumbian times, until right now. So phew us yacthies are doing it without pirate attacks. Bruce read "Caribbean", J Mitchiner's violent tales and horrors of slavery. In town there are old stone barracks and hanging sites, the abolitionists WON forever!
 Everyone we've met is very relaxed and proud...but we're told if you get caught thieving locals may deal with you before the police.
Our only struggle is winching the dingy to safety every night, it takes a lot of arm muscle -
Bruce is aiming for a six pack at ?0.
Wyuna off Fort Young
Coming into anchor at Roseau, Dominica (1of 7,000 islands) Alan a New Zealander met us by dingy and Marcus from the marine co-op to tie to a mooring for $10us a night, it's 3 mins to the dingy dock, 10 mins walk to town. A boat hop at 5 for drinks on Tuatara with Alan & Jean, Pete & Courtney, (all have crossed the Atlantic from Canary Islands to get here)swapping sailing stories and chatting til verry late. We didn't sink the dingy coming home.   

 How easy it would be to stay here, after yesterday's trip to Freshwater Lake and the spa - we'll be back on the return trip to Grenada.

Out on the town, Fort Young is now a hotel with a Friday grill- band night,"gorgeous looking 20-30 yr locals" meet up and flirt (no one noticed us oldies) so we had fun admiring the afro carib hip swings, seriously it's the bum, they can move like a keyboard to each drum beat! (sorry you have to be here to see it)

The only surviving Caribbean population live on a reservation on the NE coast, we'll sail tomorrow near to their village after we stock up at the market and clear customs.

Ruins cafe- great rum, coffee & not Bob Marley


  1. Hi Gina & Bruce - keep blogging, love it all. It sounds so exotic and colourful and gorgeous!

  2. Fantastic account of life since we left..... it sounds terrific and we miss it terribly. Lots of love, Mal & Sue.

  3. Hey there
    glad you are still afloat and sounds like you are having far too much fun!! We are currently tied up in Bermagui waiting for the window to get home..

    Keep us posted on your travels
    Di & Mark

  4. Hi Bruce & Gina,
    have to agree with Mark and Di, you are definetly having far too much fun. We are enjoying your blog very much, reading about all the exotic places that you are visiting. 50 knts must have been a challenge, the yacht in the background seemed to be finding the going a little tough. We are all fine here Dalliance is looking great after her recent slipping.

    Best wishes
    Graeme & Deb