Cruising Guide to the Eastern Caribbean: Martinique to by Donald M. Street Jr

By Donald M. Street Jr

The cruiser's bible for secure navigation.

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Additional info for Cruising Guide to the Eastern Caribbean: Martinique to Trinidad v. 3

Example text

When I arrived in Fort-de-France in March 1986, I was shocked to find just an empty lot where the market used to be. My disappointment was replaced by joy, though, when I discovered it had not been demolished but had been disassembled to be repaired, restored, and rebuilt. If the restoration of the market is as good as the restoration of the cathedral (be sure to visit the cathedral), the market will turn out to be magnificent. The market, now totally open-air, has been temporarily moved to the east bank of the River Madame, near the river's mouth.

Public transport around Martinique is excellent. Some routes are covered by buses, others by public taxi-taxi pays or taxi collective. Just go to the taxi parking area by the fueling pier, look for a taxi collective with the destination you want painted on its side, and hop in; the ride is fast and cheap. When taking a taxi collective to a distant part of the island, though, be sure to note when the last one returns in the evening; if you miss it you could face a very expensive regular taxi ride.

You can spend a few interesting days exploring the island this way. A word of warning if you go swimming in any of the rivers: Flash floods sometimes rush down the river gorges, sweeping all before them; woe betide anyone in the water at the time. Friends of ours who are good swimmers very nearly lost their lives in one of these flash floods. Among the sights to see in Martinique are the gommier races. The Carib canoes are about 30 feet long and carry a massive cat ketch rig. Spiritsails are set loose-footed on both masts, with the main overlapping the mizzen like a genoa jib.

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