Guadeloupe, Caribbean
 
 February 15, 2020    |   read entry >












  




  < 20/20 Cool
Even at sea level our Maverick
aviators deliver the highest
clarity. Mahalo nui, Maui Jim!

  < Ship or Sail?
Read Drream Time's Jan/Feb 2020
article in Ocean Navigator Magazine




Feb 15, 2020   |  Caribbean cruising - Sharing the trades with some pretty tall ships.




 


   



 
Day 4,641 - Iles des Saintes, Caribbean
18:04 hrs - February 13, 2020
Well done France

So here we are now at Caribbean island number four, otherwise known as Iles des Saintes which is French.

Our first island - Saint Lucia, was granted independence from UK in 1979. Number two island - Martinique, is French and number three island - Dominica, gained independence from the UK in 1978, and tomorrow we'll be at island number five - Guadeloupe, again, French. Then after Guadeloupe we'll be going to island number six - Antigua, which gained it's independence from the UK in 1981.

So our island hopping from Saint Lucia to Antigua will have been skipping between former UK and French territories. And the thing that's just struck me is that while the UK has gradually relinquished control and given independence to their islands, France hasn't.

And It started me thinking about the other French territories we have been to over the years and how well they all seem to be doing. It makes sense to me that France wouldn't want to give up the five strategically important archipelagos of (our personal favorite) French Polynesia with its thousands of islands in the South Pacific, and the amazing New Caledonia 800 miles east of Australia is an obvious keeper, but why maintain financial responsibility for islands in the Caribbean? A Google question perhaps...

The one thing I do know that all the French territories that we have spent time in seem genuinely cared for by France both financially and culturally, including these Caribbean islands. France appears to have provided education, healthcare, roads, airports etc. and assorted government jobs to all their islands and It looks like it's been a real success. France has territories all over the world and has apparently not given up on any of it. I agree that independence is a good and important thing, but in this case, if France can keep everyone educated healthy and focused on the communities they continue to build to everyone's benefit, it has to be a good thing. So, well done France.

And as a side note, croissants and baguettes make everyone happy :)



 


Feb 13, 2020   |  Anse Rodriguez, Iles des Saintes - An island small enough to tour by golf cart.






Feb 11, 2020   |  Indian River, Dominica - Gnarled and twisted with age, swamp bloodwood trees watched us as we drfited deeper into the jungle.









Feb 10, 2020 (Day 4,638)
Quick Fix: 14° 44.3 N / 61° 10.6 W
Martinique, Caribbean

A Lost City
Saint Lucia, Martinique, Dominica... tomorrow we sail to Iles des Saintes. The countries are whizzing past the port lights and we're raising a new courtesy flag, on average, once a week. We spent four nights, our longest sojourn since leaving Saint Lucia, anchored off Saint-Pierre, once the thriving capital of Martinique but now a charmingly rustic collection of ramshackle buildings that rest on the edge of a black sand beach between thick jungle and a twinkling Caribbean Sea. Mount Pelee looms menacingly in the background, its volcanic slopes camouflaged by a decieving blanket of soft green. But in 1902, after plenty of warning grumbles and burps, the volcano spewed a deadly avalanche of poisonous gas and white hot ash which collapsed down the valley burying the city and tragically all 30,000 occupants. Life size black and white portraits now gaze out from the shadows behind crumbling windows and the empty door frames of buildings that somehow survived the disaster, and it is a haunting reminder of the lives that were lost here.

             





Feb 6, 2020   |  Saint Pierre, Martinique - "Paris of the Caribbean", palm trees and pâtisseries.

 

 





Feb 1, 2020 (Day 4,629)
Quick Fix: 14° 26.0 N / 60° 53.4 W
Ste. Anne, Martinique

A Little Room, S'il Vous Plait.
Eleven years ago in Makemo, our first Tuamotus anchorage, a pearl farmer allowed us to select a mooring from an impressive collection of buoys gathered in a pile on the edge of a dazzling turquoise lagoon. We picked an old fiberglass marker about the size of a volleyball and asked how much we could pay him. It was a gift, he said with a smile, and welcomed us to French Polynesia. Later that week, anchored alone in the atoll, we painted the buoy white and put a rusty can of green paint to good use, branding our float with an anchor and 'Dream Time NY' along its waterline. We've used the float for over a decade where seabed conditions threatened to snag our anchor, and it has served us well. We're using it again now, in another French territory, not to retrieve fouled ground tackle but to mark the location of our hook. There's more than enough room for everyone here, and while we may not have an entire lagoon to ourselves, thanks to our Makemo marker, at least we've got a boat length of space off our bow.

 



Feb 1, 2020   |  Saint Lucia - Port of departure, Marigot Bay. Next stop, Martinique.