Yacht life in the Caribbean - turns out its not just cocktails and sunsets. Sailing between the islands is a rollercoaster ride of screaming currents with swell and wind, and then you get into the lee of the next island to find light shifty wind and the noise of the flapping sails enough to drive you to drink. And then you have to negotiate another screaming channel to get to the next island. After our third channel crossing I was ecstatic to drop the anchor off Sainte-Anne on the southern end of Martinique and live the serene French life for a bit. A decent bottle of wine was calling my name from the shore and we could practically smell the camembert and fresh crusty baguette from our distant spot on the outer fringe of the crowded anchorage.
Alas, we live at the mercy of the wind and could only relax for two days before a good weather window arrived for moving up to the British Virgin Islands, and so groaning under the weight of all the French treats we could carry we set sail for Tortola. Around the northern tip of Martinique Neptune had other plans for us though and the wind suddenly dropped and turned against us, the current predictably was against us too and we were virtually sailing backwards. Mutiny was close. The kids wisely stayed in the cabin playing with their lego whilst we questioned our audacity in buying a yacht in the first place. Nothing to do but turn around and head back to Martinique and the deep water anchorage at Saint-Pierre.
This end of Martinique is dominated by Mont Pelee, an active volcano that last erupted in 1932. We found an underwater wonderland beneath the boat in crystal clear water with soft corals, huge sponges and cute little garden eels poking their bodies up out of the fine ashy sand and dancing in the current. Followed by glorious French food and wine out on deck watching the sun set over the Caribbean Sea. Bliss. I think I want to be French forever.