We set off at 4am from Chateaubelair, St. Vincent, so we could arrive in Martinique with plenty of time to anchor before sunset. It was pretty calm in the bay, making things easy. We got the sails up by moonlight and motored out until we could pick up some wind and sailing.

It can blow quite strongly in the Saint Vincent channel, so we were well prepared, double-reefed with the staysail, and headed 5 miles offshore before turning North. The sea stayed fairly calm, and we crossed the channel to Saint Lucia, quite easily, as the sun rose.


While John and Clare were in the galley making breakfast (the sea was flat enough for comfortable cooking), I saw some splashes off the side of the boat, that turned out to be a pair of humpback whales, swimming North alongside us. Presumably a mother and calf, they were staying on the surface, breathing very frequently.


We remained quite far out from Saint Lucia, but still got caught in its wind-shadow. We switched from the staysail to the full genoa, as the wind dropped. But soon we got becalmed, and had to motor-sail our way up for an hour or two, through some patches of rain.

And a surprising amount of heavy traffic coming past. At one point, we had two large vessels bearing down on us from opposite sides, passing together. It looked like one of them adjusted course to avoid us, hopefully seeing us on AIS makes it easier for them to predict.


About half-way up Saint Lucia's west coast, we started tracking towards our anchorage in Sainte Anne, Martinique. We were pointing as high in the wind as we could, and following it as it shifted up and down. There was a little more wind in the Saint Lucia channel than we'd had in the Saint Vincent channel, but we stuck with the full genoa, and got a good ride.


The day's prediction had been for an Easterly wind, a little more from the South than usual. But it seemed to be coming from North East, with a strong Easterly current, so struggled to make it to Sainte Anne on a single tack. We only made it half way up the bay, and had to do a port tack to reach the Sainte Anne anchorage. It was nice to be able to do it by sail, before sunset.

I have some Debian friends in the area, taffit and Cathy. So, we met up in Sainte Anne for some drinks and dinner, after we arrived, before the curfew. A nice catch-up and a great end to a long day on the water, thanks!

Time on the water: 12:58
Distance covered: 82nm
Avg speed: 6.3kts
Max speed: 10kts


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