Postcards from Martinique

Fort-de-France, Martinique

Fort-de-France, Martinique

From St. Pierre, after climbing up Mont Pelée, we sail south along the west coast of Martinique down to Fort-de-France, a big beautiful modern city with some remarkable old colonial buildings, where we stay for a couple of days, and then further south to Le Marin, the biggest yacht port we have ever seen.

Catamarans on dock at Le Marin, Martinique

Catamarans on dock at Le Marin, Martinique

We drop anchor in front of the beach in one of the few anchorages, all full of boats, and we can’t believe how many charter catamarans are stationed at the many marina docks here. An impressive forest of masts.

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The entire week we spend in Fort-de-France and then Le Marin we are trapped on the boat by a massive amount of rain mixed with yellow Sahara dust carried all the way from Africa by another tropical wave.

Rain in Le Marin, Martinique

Rain in Le Marin, Martinique

In the rare sunny moments between showers we hit the stores. Le Marin in Martinique is one of the shopping stations of the Caribbean. There are lots of marine stores conveniently located near the marinas where cruisers can find almost anything when the boat needs repairs, which is always. There are things that come from Europe as Martinique is part of France, and are much cheaper than in the USA, and other things that are much more expensive. Ivo finds parts that he could not find in America, like some little metal things for the trampoline, for example. We also find a secondhand spinnaker with a sleeve in excellent condition, apart from one small patch, for 150 euro, which is unbelievably cheap.

Our "new" spinnaker

Our „new“ spinnaker

Here is also Leader Price, one of the cheapest grocery stores since Puerto Rico where we stock up on cheap chocolate, pickles, frozen chicken, non-refrigerated milk, beer, wine, rum, and other essentials.

Because of the rain we cannot visit any waterfalls or go hiking in the mountains anywhere in the Fort-de-France and Le Marin area. But we have some good times and go exploring the St Anne area after we move there with our sailing buddies Mel and Caryn S/V Passages with whom we have been inseparable since Guadeloupe, over a month now. We sail together, hike together, shop together, snorkel together, we watch films and have dinners together, help each other, share rental cars and all the adventures that follow. We have become so attached, it’s hard to imagine ever cruising without them, the sweetest, most wonderful people.

Mel and Caryn aboard S/V Passages. Diamond Rock in the distance.

Mel and Caryn aboard S/V Passages. Diamond Rock in the distance.

In St Anne we organize a small walk along the shore. It’s a beautiful sunny day and the forest path is nice and cool, populated by thousands of colorful crabs running away panicking as we walk through.

 

Forest crabs

Forest crabs

We get to a nice long beach and campground, no one around, except crabs. We spend the rest of the morning chilling at the beach.

Maya

Maya

At the beach with our friends Mel and Caryn

At the beach with our friends Mel and Caryn

St Anne, a small quiet village with stunning beaches and a big fancy resort, is the highlight of the entire region. We spend a few days walking around, snorkeling in the waters around the anchorage, watching the most beautiful sunsets.

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The place is so photogenic, all pictures I take look like postcards.

Postcards from St Anne

 

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Sunset Watching People

Why are sunsets breathtaking? I don’t know. People love to watch the sunset, I don’t know why… Maybe, because it is the only time they can stare directly into the sun without damaging their eyes? Or maybe because there is some residue of ancient Aztec spirituality still floating in the air?

In Key West, if you go to Mallory Square in the late afternoon, the golden hour, you will see crowds of tourists facing west. For them, watching the sunset is no longer enough, they all try to record it. It’s number one thing to do when you visit Key West: go to the Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square. They all take out photo cameras, i-phones, i-pads, and all sorts of other devices, trying to capture the soul of the supreme deity of the skies. And post it on Facebook two minutes later. To prove they have been there, done that.

I, myself, like to turn my camera towards the people photographing sunsets. I photograph miniature sunsets inside their sunglasses. And capture their souls.

 

 

Vanity.

He knows it is performance time.

People are watching with anxiety.

There he comes: perfectly orange and round, ready to dive in the ocean.

He prepares slowly, gets closer and closer.

As predicted.

Timing is everything.

The lights in the theatre dim, the audience stops breathing.

Corsets burst, children faint: it is all going to happen at the exact precise moment, not a minute earlier, never later.

Another death, another disappearance.

Painfully, first he touches the line, and then she swallows him.

The horizon stretches its back a bit higher: impatient, hungry.

He is doomed again, and the voyeurs are silent: photographing the evidence, a ritual, another sacrifice for the crowds.

Did you see him how he went down?

Did you see how she swallowed him, slowly?

The sky, the sea all gets smeared in blood.

And then the spectacle is over.

Ovations, satisfaction, the men look at the women with wet eyes: you see, exactly as I predicted,

I kept my promise. 

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