We arrived off Saint Pierre a small seaside town in Martinique just after breakfast on Mon 14 Feb and anchored off. The views as we approached the island were stunning with the splendid volcanic mountain of Mont Pelee shrouded in mist. This mountain errupted in 1902 killing all but three of its population of over 30,000. After winching some crew members into the boats and getting to the shore, we transferred to a comedy floating pontoon on to which transferring was less than elegant while its movement catapulted some of us onto the black volcanic sandy beach. After a stroll around the town and the market where fresh cinnamon and spices were purchased we all convened at a beachside restaurant to sample local rum punches and seafood.
Two hours later most of us enjoyed a swim, sharing the few goggles so all could enjoy some snorkeling, while others visited the museum, the key exhibit being the bell from the church which was squashed during the erruption of the mountain. Then back for a repeat performance on the pontoon to enjoy a barbaque and music. Meanwhile back on the ship the permanent crew were called by the local coastguard to rescue a catamaran which was adrift, they gave chase in the rib and rescued it. The owners who were enjoying a visit to the town, were overjoyed to have their boat back. Today we sailed off the anchor at 9.15 local time but with little wind to aid us we sailed at around one knot until we cleared the island whereupon we picked up some good winds.
Angela, Karen and Sile (Aft Starboard Watch)