Saturday, November 19, 2011
Martinique – Fort-de-France - Sven Yrvind
In another seven days Sven Yrvind should arrive at Fort-de-France on the island of Martinique. After leaving Porto Santo, Madeira, he will have been at sea for approximately 45 days, averaging 2.7 knots. What can he expect to find when he arrives at this French administered Caribbean island?
To report to customs he will most likely enter the Baie de Fort de France and make his way to the main port for clearing customs. Experienced sailor as he is, he’ll be keeping a good lookout for any coral reefs while skirting the southern shore of Martinique. As I write, the average wind there is about 4 kilometres-an-hour from the northeast, and in the Baie itself the wind could be almost non-existent, which means he should be able to get his boat in without any problems. There are plenty of good anchorages, and the tidal range is small. He may even be able to beach his boat and haul her up on the sand which would save a lot of hassle and give him rest.
Fort-de-France will have everything he needs for victualling, and there will be plenty for him to see and do on the island. If I were there I would want to have a close-up view of Mount Pelee, a volcano that erupted in 1902 completely destroying the city of Saint Pierre. While visiting the northern region I would want to explore the rainforests. Public transport is by taxi or mini-bus. A journey to Saint Pierre by mini-bus would cost about 7 euros, which is quite expensive. Taxis are even more expensive. There may be bike hire, but the island is very mountainous, and I wouldn’t fancy cycling too far. Apparently, hitchhiking is popular, and I’m not surprised, considering the cost of travel.
I’ve got an idea that Sven will look for simple things, like having a swim in the crystal clear seawater, or sitting on a bench where he can watch the comings and goings while drinking from a glass of ice-cold water. No doubt he will want to sample local cuisine. For sure he will want to visit the Bibliothèque Schoelcher, which is an old colonial building that is now the library. For fresh foods he will visit Le grand marché, a covered market in the rues Blénac and Isambert. He may be interested in looking at the Sacré-Coeur de Balata church which is a replica of the genuine article at Montmartre, Paris. If I were there I would make an effort to visit the Jardin de Balata, which is a botanical garden 10 kilometres from Port-de-France. I enjoy a good walk; therefore I would explore one or two of the marked trails maintained by the National Forest Service. A week or a fortnight at Martinique should be sufficient for doing these things.
Well, I hope Sven is in good health when he arrives at the island, and that he will enjoy his time there.
Photos are from my computer’s archive, and I have lost record of the original sources. I trust I shall cause no offence by publishing them here, but if I am asked by the person who originally published them to remove them from this article, I’ll certainly oblige.
Text for Day
1 Timothy 4:8 ‘For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.’
Out of Sight, but not out of Mind – Sven Yrvind
Sven Yrvind Sails Again
Progress of Sven Yrvind
Official Website of the Martinique Tourism Agency
Color me Martinique – Promotional Video
Customs Regulations for Martinique
Weather Online Martinique
Top Yacht Bareboat Charter
Transport on Martinique