January, 30 2008. Anse Marin, Martinique
I sailed up from Bequia earler this Month. Had a nice sail. It was upwind but I expected that. I made really good time the first day. Had a pod of dolphans swim with me for a few miles south of St Vincent. I had to motor sail a bit behind the big Islands but made it all the way to Rodney Bay, St Lucia the first day. I started about 6am and got the hook down just before dark.
I and a nice sleep and took off the next morning for Martinique. I first anchored in Anse de Matin. I did some shopping there. Lots of good French food and some wine to try. I tasted 5 bottles and found one that was OK so I bought a case of Bordeaux. After a few days I moved the boat to St Anne. Just about 3 miles away. It was a bit more rolly there but there were more English speaking cruisers anchored there. And the water was much nicer for swimming.
One night we had a wine tasting on the beach. Everyone brought a bottle and we all tried everything. I found two winners and bought 7 cases of one. It was on sale that week and was very inexpenseive. I will keep my eye open for the other when get to a bigger store later this week.
I did have a bit of an adventure sailing from there to Anse Marin. I will include an E-mail I wrote earlier:
My cautionary tail about alcohol abuse or the day Temptress’ bilge ran red.
Today I sailed from Marin to Forte de France Bay. There were bad omens for me on my trip but I didn’t heed them. Yesterday a man crossing from St Lucia to Martinique had a stroke. It was very moving hearing his wife calling on the radio for a helicopter to pick him up. Eventually a fast boat ran out to pick him up. I don’t know what happened. I think the name of the boat was Pegasus.
I started out early for my own crossing. There was no wind in the anchorage. First time in a week it hasn’t been blowing 20. I turned on the water maker and put up the main sail. I raised the anchor with my new cockpit system for the first time and it worked well. It was great to have it because some charter boat anchored right in front of me. Huge bay and they had to anchor right on top of me. So I needed to maneuver the boat just as soon as the anchor was off the bottom. No problem. I was off motor sailing west and making water. The wind came up a bit and I was doing 6 or 7 knots much of the morning. It felt good sailing with the wind. I think this is the first run I’ve had this trip. About an hour later I turned around the west side of the island and headed North. The wind was blocked by the island but there was enough to help the motor move me up the coast.
About half way up I checked the water maker. It wasn’t making water and the bilges were filling up with water. Some leak somewhere. Also the number 1 bilge pump failed. Looks like the circuit breaker. I will have to fix it. I turned on number 3 and pumped the bilges dry. Just another day on the boat. Always something to fix.
I sailed on that course for another hour then turned east into Forte de France bay. This put the wind on my nose. But there was still not much of it. I rolled up the genoa but left the full main up. Not worth the bother putting it away. Besides the wind might come up again from another direction and it could still help. I was listening to a radio show (Penn Jillette show) I downloaded in MP3 format. There was a good interview with Kinky Freedman. He is running for Governor of Texas. Ahead of me was a bit of rain. It looked like it could have some wind in it but I left the main up. I didn’t have that much sail up and the interview was getting interesting. Well the winds hit. Not too much to be unsafe or even uncomfortable but the boat did heel right over. A few seconds later I heard a very strange sound from below decks. It sounded like a machine gun going off. About 20 rounds and very loud. I couldn’t figure what it could be bu t I had my hands full for the time being with the boat. A few seconds later a smell come from below that told me what had happened.
I just took on about 80 bottles of French wine. The locker they were stored in had come open and they fell out when the boat heeled. I found 18 of them on the floor of the aft cabin. 11 survived but 7 broke and the wine spilled into the bilge. Glass everywhere and a mess. I had to leave it until I put the hook down. Now I have a boat that smells of wine. I hope I can clean it all up before it turns sour. I have removed the aft carpet and will probably just toss it out. I pumped the bilges again and saw the water run an expensive red/purple color. What an abuse of good alcohol.
I got everything squared away and the watermaker fixed. Turned out to be a broken hose clamp. I still need to replace the Circuit breaker on the bilge pump. It works but is flakey. I do have 3 other electric pumps and a manual. It is the smallest on that is posingproblems so no worries.
I expect to be headed North again soon. There is some weather happening and I plan on waiting for the waves to calm down before I cross to Guadeloupe. I should be there by the First week in February.