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Peaceful Passage to Martinique…for Some!

Nov 1, 2013


Location: St. Lucia to Martinique
Author: Nick
Overnight passages are such that one day merges into the next as you fall asleep off one island before waking to discover somewhere new. Last nights passage was a prime example as we sailed the 48 nautical miles from St Lucia to Martinique. The rain that oversaw our departure last night ceased just in time for the first watch (Watch Team 2) to start at 2100, with the rest of us heading inside to dry off and attempt to get a couple of hours sleep before starting watch. Watch Team 3 (Ivy, Will, Bret, Shayna, Brooke and I) had the graveyard shift from 0000 to 0300. You just get to sleep, when suddenly you’re woken up and are thrust into the action. Fortunately the rain had stopped by the time we came on deck (reports from Watch Team 2 were of a shift fighting off squalls, strong winds and–by the look of the deck in the morning–rogue bananas. Fortunately we had no such problems and maintained a solid 4 knots as we sailed towards Martinique. The only problem was attempting to keep each other awake and this was achieved through a combination of press ups, chatting and some incredibly sickly fudge that Shayna had bought on St Lucia. Fortunately these all helped pass time and we could get back into our warm beds for another few hours. At 0700 I was woken by the sound of the anchor going down and stumbled onto deck in a zombie-like daze to help. The contrast from St Lucia was easy to see as we anchored off a small town called St Pierre, with an ominous volcanic mountain overlooking. The last major eruption (1902) destroyed large portions of the town, and the remnants are clear to see, with partially damaged buildings on the shore and shipwrecks littering the surrounding waters. Fortunately the weather was clear so setting the anchor was a quick process and we could all go back and get a bit more sleep. The majority of the shipmates arose just before lunch at 12 (a good 3 hours after some of us) ready to tuck into a burrito, before donning their cleaning outfits and cleaning the boat following passage. The rest of the day has been a chilled affair with studying the main activity as shipmates prep for their VHF operator exam (just finishing at the time of writing) and their Marine Biology exam tomorrow evening. Tomorrow will also bring the Advanced Open Water Deep Dive, an exciting prospect to go to sleep with!