June 11 – we are on a trip from Dominica to Martinique today. We spent a few days in St. Martin, enjoying the city, seeing the island, playing the games in the Casino, and waiting out a storm before moving on. We have both been to St. Martin before – and like it very much though this time, we were surprised at how the French side has deteriorated. It is very segregated – especially noticeable in the French side – the poorest of the poor (all black and no white) and then those areas with nice homes (all white, no black). The areas with nice homes were few and far between though. The Dutch side of the island is much more consistent. The roads are bad – really bad, but otherwise, the dutch side is full of life, shopping, restaurants, night life, nice homes and not so nice, though the difference between the two is no so remarkable. We both decided we liked the Dutch side (not the least reason might be that they speak English there). Click on the image below to see pictures of our trip through the French islands. 🙂
We bypassed Guadeloupe this time for a trip to Dominica. Dominica is a wonderful island where we were met by the island welcoming committee – young men in brightly colored boats who help tie you up to a mooring, get ice, food, fruit or take you on a tour of the island. We anchored in Portsmouth where the Japanese government is funding a fishing processing plant in Portsmouth Dominica.
Martinique – we anchored off the coast in the harbor of St. Pierre. This is a city full of history. The town was destroyed again on 8 May 1902, when the volcano erupted, killing over 30,000 people, the entire population of the town as well as people from neighboring villages who had taken refuge in the supposedly safe city. You will see pictures in our gallery of the anchorage and the church (lit up) that woke us at 6am with the bells of the Angelus.