The ARC was over and we started to explore the Caribbean. Our first step was out of the marina for a few days on anchor in Rodney Bay. Afterwards we sailed 10 miles further to Marigot Bay, which was a setting in the Film about Dr. Doolittle. As we approached the bay a man in a motorboat approached us and said: “Welcome to Paradise”, which of course is true for all bays in the Caribbean: =)
Every day we went swimming several times because we were sweating and the water was now super enjoyable.
Martinique was the next island we visited. It was like we were back home. Everything so European / French with an exotic touch. In the boulangerie you could get baguette and pain au chocolat just as in France. St. Anne is one of the huge anchor bays in the Caribbean. Over 500 boats anchor here in the 5m deep and clear water.
Of course we met some ARC boats. Despite the large anchor bay there is a small beach where Nael could snorkel all afternoon long. However, if you go in the direction of Club Med you will find a long beach with many small restaurants and a stranded boat.
What we liked the most was the 7km long crab walk along the coast with several beautiful little beaches.
The kids were so motivated to find new crabs again and again that they made it all the way without carrying them. On the contrary, they even ran the last part.
Over Christmas we were pleased about the visit of Chrigi and Patricia. Together we sailed to the island of Dominica, which was destroyed by a hurricane a few months before. But people here are rebuilding their homeland. They are proud of their 365 rivers and the rainforest. Martin of Providence Boating showed us the Indian River and told us about his country.
For more than 40 years he is an ambassador for this region. We were in contact with him before we arrived, because among cruisers Dominica is known a bit less safe than the surrounding French islands. People bring fresh fruits, vegetables, fish and even self-painted postcards directly to the boat and they offer island tours, water taxi and boat cleaning or take the waste. The latter offer we did not accept, we try to bring plastic, glass and metal on an island with refuse incineration plant. With Chrigi and Patricia we sailed even further to Guadeloupe, which again was very French, before we returned to Martinique.
Here in the Caribbean you typically sail beam reach on the leeward side of the islands either north or south. Between the islands there are passages of about 20 miles which can be from “sans souci” to “ralley” :=)
With Andrea, who came to us for a week, we visited a few bays in Martinique.
We especially liked the Grande Anse d’Arlet in the south, where we were able to watch the big sea-turtles. They make slow movements with their legs but they are so fast that we could not overtake them.
In this first month we adapted to the “caribbean style”. We are just wearing swimwear and from time to time a T-shirt. New vegetables and fruits found their way on our menu. We even try to open the coconuts with our own machete, but it still takes a bit of practice to get to the level of a bartender :=)