Bonjour To You All Again
We have a lovely sail across to Martinique with a reef in the main and jib, as winds were gusting up to 30kts. We also had two heavy showers of rain, so SHAMAL got a wash. As we were approaching the entrance to the huge harbour at Marin, we we buzzed by a helicopter a couple of times with him flying very low over us. He seemed to be checking out all yachts coming in. I waved out and took photos. We have just read in the papers that a yacht falsely flying an American flag, with two Spanish and one Venezuelan on board, were stopped and boarded by the authorities in Martinique waters, who found a hundred million US dollars of cocaine on board !!!!!! A couple of tons of the stuff. That is the second boat which has been caught in these waters in the last six months.
We have now arrived at our first French Island, but the last of the Windward Islands. The Caribs who lived here at the time Christopher Columbus sailed into these waters, called their Island Madinina, which means Island of flowers. The French colonists were the first to settle the Island in the early 1600’s, clearing the forests to make room for the sugar plantations. The native Caribs retaliated, but by 1660 the majority of them were driven off their Island. Those that survived lived in the Mt. Pelee area, but were later wiped out by the Europeans, but, not before calling on the mountain to take its revenge !! Once again the British got in on the act, but only occupied it for a short period, between 1794 to 1815. With the French back in control they faced a down turn in the sugarcane market due to the introduction of sugar beets on mainland France.