Approaching St. Lucia Piton anchorage

Dominica, Martinique & St Lucia

DOMINICA

Ryan supervising refueling at Riveiera Sens, Guadeloupe

Ryan supervising refueling at Riveiera Sens, Guadeloupe

After departing Guadeloupe, we proceeded south to the island nation of Dominica. With under two weeks to go before our insurance induced requirement to be in Grenada, we are not getting to spend as much time as we would like in each of these enchanted islands. We will spend more time exploring on our return trip north after hurricane season. With that said, we did get to spend a wonderful evening anchored in Prince Rupert Bay on the northwest coast of Dominica. There is a professional organization in the town of Portsmouth known as PAYS (Portsmouth Association for Yacht Security) that provides everything from taxi and laundry services to divers, guides and nighttime anchorage security for visiting yachts. The night that we arrived we were greeted by several PAYS boat boys who invited us to a beachfront barbeque for visiting boats. There were probably fifty yachts at anchor in the harbor. Dominica is a large volcanic island with rivers, mountains and rainforests and we really look forward to exploring it more completely in the future but for now, one night was all we had and at daybreak we were underway to our next country of Martinique.

MARTINIQUE

Fort de France, Martinique

Fort de France, Martinique

Our stop in Martinique took place in the captial city of Ft. de France. Ft de France is probably the most cosmopolitan city in the Caribbean, with elements of both ancient and modern architecture. A beautiful waterfront city that is heavily geared towards the maritime industry. Martinique is a colony of France and as such it has a highly developed infrastucture complete with government built dinghy docks, excellent roads and parks and almost anything a visiting yacht could need within easy reach.

The afternoon that we arrived there were about 10 boats anchored in front of the town dock at the base of the 17th Century French Fort. We enjoyed dinner aboard and marvelled at the good fortune to have found such a picturesque and tranquil anchorage.

 

Fort de France, Martinique

Fort de France, Martinique

The next day our tranquility was abruptly interrupted when approximately 90 sailing catamarans arrived in our anchorage. It turns out that they were part of a trans Caribbean rally and they were all in a serious partying mode. Most of the sailors were well qualified and did a good job of securing their boats in the anchorage. That said, given the sheer number of boats, we still got to spend most of the afternoon fending off boats that were dragging their anchor or had just gotten too close to us and would swing into our anchoring arc creating a hazard for both themselves and the Pilot’s Discretion.

ST. LUCIA

Approaching St. Lucia Piton anchorage

Approaching St. Lucia Piton anchorage

Happily, it was time for us to move on and our next stop will surely go down as one of my favorites. We headed south for St Lucia with the intention of spending the night in the sheltered bay at Marigot. The weather was perfect for our passage to St. Lucia and when we were abeam Marigot Bay we elected to continue on to the Southern tip of St Lucia so that we could anchor in the shadow of the Pitons. The Pitons are two dramatic volcanic peaks that are some of the most photographed geographical features in the Caribbean. The bay in front of them has a half dozen mooring balls (anchoring is both prohibited by statute and operationally impractical). We picked up a mooring ball about 50 yards offshore in front of the 5 star resort known as the Jalousie Plantation. Given our close proximity to shore we could not believe the depth of the deep blue water. Our three independent depth sounders confirmed we were in 984′ of water.

The image of the Pilots’ Discretion moored in front of the Pitons was really one of those pinch me moments when we were all amazed by the amazing experience that is our journey.

7 thoughts on “Dominica, Martinique & St Lucia

  1. Rick Odato

    Glad you’re enjoying your epic voyage.
    CG is on high alert right now. I don’t know what the deal is, but they moved up to MARSEC Level 1. There’s even an armed guard at the entrance to Station Cortez now. I just thought you should know about it for when you come home.

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  2. Nancy Caplan

    Dear Randy and Therese I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy watching your trip.  I used to say when I traveled with my daughter that you can see them grow right in front of your eyes!! and I am sure you are seeing this with your boy’s.  I do forward your trip to a few people and wanted you to know.  My sister who lives in Michigan on the Detroit river, she has 3 boys and loves your stories.  Our neighbor Nan Smith a retired radiologist from New York, she is in her 80’s and her husband loved boating and the water. Stay safe!Nancy – Nancy Caplan  Keller Williams Realty Palm Harbor, FL 34684 Cell: (847) 722-1283 Nkcaplan@yahoo.com 

    From: pilotsdiscretiondotcom To: nkcaplan@yahoo.com Sent: Sunday, June 7, 2015 4:16 PM Subject: [New post] Dominica, Martinique & St Lucia #yiv0616230607 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv0616230607 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv0616230607 a.yiv0616230607primaryactionlink:link, #yiv0616230607 a.yiv0616230607primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv0616230607 a.yiv0616230607primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv0616230607 a.yiv0616230607primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv0616230607 WordPress.com | Randy posted: “DOMINICAAfter departing Guadeloupe, we proceeded south to the island nation of Dominica. With under two weeks to go before our insurance induced requirement to be in Grenada, we are not getting to spend as much time as we would like in each of t” | |

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    1. Theresa

      Nancy, thanks for the kind words, the boys are indeed growing before our eyes. Of course you are welcome to share our blog with others.

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  3. patti gragg

    You have created an amazing trip. So glad you decided to do this. We are looking forward to joining you for a segment of your journey when hurricane season passes. What a privilege to
    glimpse a tiny bit of your dream!

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