July 6-7, 2010... Onward to Martinique

An afternoon departure would get us to St. Pierre on the NW side of the island in the morning. Leaving the Saintes, we had a pretty good east wind, 15-17 kts. The seas weren't horribly big, but probably more than 6 ft. We were sailing well, the wind kicked up to 20-25 and we were screaming across the Dominica Channel. Just holding on, we looked forward to the island lee and calmer water. We got it! So our sail down the west coast of Dominica was unexpectedly pleasant. Then the wind died. Then the wind is up to 20 knots. We didn't know what to expect next. On goes the motor and we tried to strategize for the next Atlantic passage between Dominica and Martinique -- fairly long at 25 miles and with high winds and seas, a possibly mean route. And it was night time. Our worst fears were realized and the passage was rough. But we made it across on a reefed main and got into the lee of Martinique and took a deep breath. We realized we had to slow the boat down in order to arrive after daybreak, so we sailed with the reefed main and staysail for a few hours watching for light. By 6:30 we were anchored in front of the town. Breakfast...then to bed. Relief. We successfully made it to the 14th parallel and the Windward Islands.

St. Pierre, Martinique: +14° 44' 28.08", -61° 10' 38.70"

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