You get the best of two worlds on Martinique – a rugged Caribbean island that’s part of the Lesser Antilles and wonderful mix of West Indian and French culture and ambience. The French influence is immediately noticeable in the largest town, Fort-de-France, with its narrow hilly streets. It also has a garden featuring a statue of Napoleon’s first wife, the local beauty Josephine de Beauharnais, who became the Empress of ‘not tonight, Josephine’ fame. Check your currency drawer before you leave for those spare Euro as they’ll work here, along with your school French.
We sail out of the harbour at Le Marin, a natural anchorage on the island’s south coast. It offers comfortable passage to the nearby islands of St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Mustique – famous jewels of the Caribbean. With the extensive coast of the island itself, particularly the Caribbean or leeward side, into the bargain there’s plenty on offer for up to 14 days’ cruising.
Like most Caribbean islands Martinique is volcanic and the peak of Mont Pelée rises to 1,400 metres. There are some lovely beaches and inland coves, but the Atlantic coast is to be respected due to shallow coral reefs and stronger winds. The north with its tropical rain forest and black sandy beaches is lush and verdant, the variety of white sandy beaches in the south more arid.
As you might expect from the French influence life ashore is cosmopolitan. Food in any number of chic restaurants is highly rated but make sure you try the local Creole Cuisine too. Locals and expats alike have, however, also embraced that staple of West Indian culture – rum. There’s so much going on here it would be worth coming even if you’re not a sailor!
Skill wise: intermediate to experienced sailing in these parts with winds regularly between force 3 and 6. Mostly line of sight sailing but some open water so Day Skipper standard recommended along with competent crew.
Weather-wise: daytime temperatures are a steady 30° year-round here and short tropical showers are typical. From December through to June the trade wind blows steadily from the Northeast.
Martinique Yacht Charter Base Co-Ordinates:
14°26.50′ N 60°54.25 W
Martinique Yacht Charter Base Address:
Port du Marin
Bd Allègre Résidence de la baie
97290 Le Marin
Martinique Yacht Charter Base Facilities:
- Cafe / bar with free wifi
- Power supply
- Water supply
- Gasoline station
- Weather forecast
- Laundry service
- Dry Berths
- Scuba Diving
SAMPLE SAILING ITINERARY
Martinique Yacht Charter General remarks:
The Yacht harbour at Le Marin is situated in a large bay on the sheltered south-western side of the Island. Just a short stroll from the city centre, Le Marin is a perfect spot from which to explore this stunning island.
Martinique Yacht Charter Distances:
- St Lucia – 35nm
- Dominica – 45nm
- St Vincent – 84nm
- Barbados – 124nm
- Antigua – 157nm
- Trinidad – 238nm