The first crew of the new year is also the biggest. The six of us head for known and new Caribbean destinations in the next week.
3.1.20 – Full House
The morning began with the boarding of the new crew’s luggage. The experienced charterer will certainly be shocked at the sight of the five hard-shell suitcases. Thanks to an almost empty locker, the problem was ultimately smaller than expected.
While old and new crew spent the day on the island, I used the time for a safety check of the yacht. Although we had sailed little, I discovered loose screws again. This time on the bowsprit. So I applied Loctite to all known problematic threads, washed some laundry and used the drying time for a lonely beer in the cockpit.
In the evening, both crews met again on the Aurelia. After Nicole and Michael had said goodbye, there was the obligatory briefing about the ship and the safety.
5.1.20 – Back to the rain forest
Yesterday began with the declaration of the new crew data in Martinique. Then we made our way to Dominica. After the initial calmness, we were able to use our sails. We reached Roseau at sunset.
The morning started with a birthday breakfast for the youngest aboard. Immediately afterwards we went ashore with Mr. Bean and on tour in Octavius minibus. The weather on Dominika was not as sunny as it was two weeks ago. It had rained more often in the last few days. So today too. Well, it’s just a rainforest. Due to the more diffuse light and the fog on the horizon, it looked completely different, much more intense. At first Octavius wasn’t enthusiastic about the weather either, but from hour to hour he seemed to have more and more fun with us and showed us not only the lake, gorge and waterfall, but also the botanical garden and the sulfur springs of Dominica. In the end we landed on the Aurelia with a bag full of tropical fruits.
6.1.20 – Saint Pierre, ones more
A one-week Caribbean cruise does not allow too long jumps, especially since the weather forecast from January 9th predicted gusts up to 30 knots. Therefore we made our way back to St. Pierre today. Thanks to the logbook assistant and helms(wo)man, it started quickly.
The wind had already picked up a bit. Even we are still in the cover of Dominica, we reached a speed of 6 kn. We reefed in time and sailed through the nozzle between Dominica and Martinique at 7.5 kn with an heel of over 20 degrees. The crew was completely unimpressed. Respect! So we were quickly in Saint Pierre. In the evening there was a good portion of rum in the almost-regular pub La Vaque.
7.1.20 – Grand Anse d’Arlet
The last weather update did not bring a better forecast either. I would have loved to sail with my surprisingly seaworthy crew to Marigot Bay on Saint Lucia. Then we would have only spent two days at sea – with unpredictable weather. We’d rather not do that. We decided to explore two / three bays of Martinique in the protection of the island. First we headed for Grand Anse d’Arlet.
Before we even started, a Portuguese man o’ war slowed us down. She had grazed one of the children with her tentacles. A quick and thorough removal of the nettles and treatment with a heat stick brought amazing results. After an hour of brave clenching of teeth, the ominous encounter was quickly forgotten and left no traces.
We approached the bay and looked for a suitable anchorage.
After the second attempt, the anchor was seated and we spent a day in the Caribbean as I imagine it: turtles in the bay, hammock on board and a beer in hand. It has to be like that! To top it off, there was a beautiful sunset.
8.1.20 – Anse Dufour and Saint Anne
After breakfast with fruits from Dominica we lifted the anchor and made a detour to Anse Dufour. Here we took time to snorkel, swim and put our feet up.
Then it went back to the southern tip of Martinique. When we got there shortly before sunset, numerous yachts had already gathered in Saint Anne. With the non-serious invitation to count, the kids took me at my word and counted 238 anchor lights.
9.1.20 – Le Marin
Since we were running out on bread, I made a few Plinses in the morning. Before I was even finished, two nice baguette and croissant suppliers stole me the show ;-). The first gusts started shortly afterwards. A little later almost every wave had a head of foam.
Time to return to Le Marin. Unfortunately, a place on the jetty was still not available. So we had to anchor again. This time without visual anchor checking. Despite the sheltered bay, the sea is already so churned that no bottom can be seen. I think it was a good decision not to sail to St. Lucia.
We spent the last evening together in the not really cheap Zanzibar. I have already spent a lovely evening here several times. Unfortunately, the exact opposite happened today. Despite the free tables, we had to wait a long time, were rarely served despite demand and waited so long for our food that the youngest fell asleep before the main course. It’s a shame! Goodbye, forever Zanzibar! Good thing there was a cocktail bar next door.
10.2.20 – Marina Du Marin
Checking out the crew was difficult today. Wind and gusts left none of the “four letters” dry during the crossing. After several trips, the suitcases, children and adults were on land. We used the remaining time to explore the area around the marina. I tried again in vain for a berth in the marina. So I also had to postpone the scheduled appointment with the sailmaker. One last lunch together, then we said goodbye.
Thank you very much, dear family H. from F. in T. It was a great time with you!