Sabbatical III spent five weeks in Martinique. The first two days at anchor in Sainte Anne, then one month in the nearby marina at Le Marin, then 4 days at anchor in Sainte Anne again. While Sabbatical III was in the marina, we took the opportunity to fly to California for 10 days to visit our children, Laura’s mother who was visiting from St. Paul, and Laura’s brother and sister. It was a wonderful trip.
We also had the Amel base in Le Marin perform some of those maintenance tasks that are required only every 10 to 15 years. This included disconnecting the engine from the transmission by unbolting it and moving it aft, and inspecting the transmission coupling and changing the bushings on the coupling. We also had a rigger experienced with the Amel rig inspect the standing rigging and tune it.
We also rented a car for a few days and toured around the southern half of the island. The roads are winding but in good shape.
On February 8, we had a nice sail to Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia from Sainte Anne, Martinique. We hoped to catch fish in the open waters of the channel between the islands but after 5 minutes of trying it was apparent that all one could catch was sargassum weed. There were weed patches everywhere. Even with a lure weighted to keep it well below the surface, weed piled up on the lure and hook after only a few minutes. The widespread infestation of sargassum weed has fouled beaches, particularly those that are east facing, and has already affected our sailing plans. Beaches and bays on the west (leeward) side of islands are relatively unaffected.
We are now in the Rodney Bay Marina in Saint Lucia. This is our fourth time at this marina (2003, 2004 twice, and 2007). There is new mall nearby with a very nice supermarket (with mostly American products), so we will re-provision the boat. We expect to stay for a couple of days more and then head south to Bequia Island in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.