Today we sailed the 35nm from Rodney Bay in St Lucia to Fort de France in Martinique. It was a great sail in mostly 20-25 knot E winds with occasional rain showers. Crossing the St Lucia channel was quite lumpy, with 1.5m seas and a 1.5 knot current. Once in the lee of Martinique the winds became more variable, dropping off to 15 knots and once or twice suddenly kicking up to 30.
Here are the usual plots. Note how our track appears to show us going over Cap Salomon. Zooming in shows a more accurate representation in this case…
We had pretty good speed across the channel, then gradually lost the wind. Once into Baie de Fort de France we regained the wind and had a great close-hauled sail to the port. We were overtaken by a 45' yacht shortly after rounding Cap Salomon. We shook out a reef and overtook him back!
We arrived at Fort de France in a heavy rain shower which lasted 5 minutes - exactly how long it took us to anchor. After tidying up the boat we launched the dinghy and headed ashore to clear in. We did so at Sea Services chandlery which is a customs agent. You simply fill out a form on a PC in the shop, print it, sign it, have one of staff stamp it and you're done!
Sadly all the patisseries and boulangeries were closed by the time we got ashore (1600 local) so we'll have to wait until tomorrow morning for some French bread. Our friends on Dutch yacht Deesse arrived in the anchorage while we were ashore. We visited them on our way back to Zen Again. It was great to catch up and they have us two portions of their freshly-baked lemon merangue pie.
We plan to explore Fort de France tomorrow.