Martinique – a senses’ delight

With the adrenaline levels up we did not realise how tired we were when we made landfall in Martinique. 

Keen to discover the island, we hired a car for a couple of days on arrival. Only when we tried to climb up Mont Pelée (the highest pick on the island at around 1,400m) we realised how exhausted we were…Struggling on a steep and challenging ascent we only reached halfway through the climb, to a plateau. The view over the east and west side of the island was worth the pain. The hike did feel like a success, especially that we were lucky to see for the first time an orchid in its natural habitat…

Discovering the natural beauty of Martinique, after visiting Fort-de-France
Enchating encounter, climbing Mount Pelée

Martinique is amongst the most densely populated islands in Lesser Antilles. As we were approaching the capital this was becoming more and more obvious, as the number of cars was unreal for a small island.

Traffic jam approaching the capital, Fort-de-France

The second day we explored the eastern coast, stopping for a stroll in the mangrove next to the ruines of Dubuc Castle, before visiting St James Rum Distillery…keen to stock up! We continued north crossing interesting suspended bridges across deep green ravines, reaching ‘the end of the road’ at Grande Rivière.

Bridge across deep ravine in Northern Martinique
Exploring the West Coast of Martinique with a welcome stop at a rum distillery

For the rest of our stay in Martinique we enjoyed the company of our newly made friend on catamaran Orient Express and explored further on foot the southern coast of the island.

Dipping in the crystal clear waters in Cul de Sac Le Marin
A well deserved dip after a long walk amongst diverse ecosystems in Southern Martinique

It is really refreshing to meet so many interesting people from all over the world, different walks of life, all aspiring to different things, but all animated by the love of freedom… some have circumnavigated a few times, some only finding their sea legs. The most interesting for us so far was meeting Selcuk during our Atlantic crossing. Orient Express was the second yacht we’ve sighted during our crossing from a total of three. Sorin made contact with Selcuk via VHF. He was sailing single handed his 58 foot catamaran from Turkey back to the US via the Caribbean. Friendly (despite the early morning), Selcuk confirmed that Martinique is the best island in the Caribbean and gave us some welcomed tips. We met (physically this time!) and we spent some beautiful moments together snorkelling, and then delving through his circumnavigations’ photos and memories.

We enjoyed a drink in the company of fellow Cruising Association members who roamed the seas for years or just achieved their dream of crossing an ocean on their own vessel… 

‘Water taxies’ behind our hosts’ beautiful Najad sailing boat

We met Isabelle and David from Bordeaux and their friends on a pontoon in Marina Le Marin whilst I was hand washing (cruising is not always fun!) our bedspreads. A simple ‘bonjour’ led to a long chat about life and dreams whilst the night was falling…

Ingenious use of our side ladder on a fingerless pontoon in the marina

We had a couple of drinks with a young couple we had met in the Canaries, and who crossed the pond this year too. They have been living aboard with their 3 years old daughter for a few years. 

And the list continues…

Getting to know places and people is the true reward of this great life adventure. We will continue fooling around with the GoPro (present from a good friend – thanks Dani!) and sharing the stories of the people we meet.

Currently, we are still at anchor in St Anne, waiting for the strong ‘Christmas winds’ to pass, before setting sail north to Dominica.

6 thoughts on “Martinique – a senses’ delight”

  1. We are both really enjoying your blog, photos and YouTube videos and look forward to following your journey over the next few months x

    1. Lovely fellow adventurers, we are glad you are following our progress with enjoyment and we do hope to get together somewhere, sometime. Have a great 2019 with everything you want in abundance!

  2. Hi guys – really enjoyed your blog on Martinique! I am missing it but look forward to returning to Spellbinder at the end of Jan. I go south first but will be in Dominica and Guadeloupe in March – hope to see you then! Good luck

    1. Hi Nick, so good to hear from you and glad you liked the blog. The videos seem to be taking over my writing now :(, but I guess they are more real! We are heading to Dominica tomorrow, then Guadeloupe. After we must head to ABC for a Panama Crossing end of Feb/ early March. Hope you are having a good start of the year and hope you will enjoy Spellbinder’s company in these beautiful setting on your return. Keep safe.

  3. A trebuit sa ma intrerup din cititul blogului pentru cateva zile (din motive independente de mine/profesionale) dar ma intorc cu placere la povestea voastra care ma scoate pentru un timp din cenusiul cotidianului de pe o nava comerciala de lunga cursa.
    Martinica… Ultima data vizitata in 2000 dar cu ajutorul vostru mi-am reamintit uimirea cu care am privit acea lume viu colorata atat de indepartata de griul abstract al blocurilor comuniste.
    Ma bucur pentru voi ca va aveti unul pe celalalt ca sa impartasiti bucuriile astea.

    1. Buna Iulian. Sper ca ai rezolvat lucrurile care te-au tinut ocupat. Da, si pt noi Martinica a fost foarte frumoasa, desi nu la fel de autentica ca Dominica… un fel de Franta exotica. Cred ca sunt si YouTube movies acum pe blog. Bafta cu munca in continuare!

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