23 January: We set sail from Grenadines to Martinique on an overnight passage with some trepidation. On our last trip this way our steering cable had broken passing St Vincent's and it was one of the most terrifying night of our lives (see post on "The Longest Night" - click here). As a result of the boat's uncontrolled motion that night, a couple of our computers dislodged from a normally secure spot, and had broken after flying down the stairs from the galley. A third computer was in need of repair when I slammed the screen down in a moment of frustration, not with the Skipper this time but with a certain preenager. Normally I am, of course, an oasis of calm, but home education is not always plain sailing! We were therefore heading to the marina at Le Marin in the south, so we could hire a car and head up to the Apple Shop for repairs.
Rather like the Pitons in St Lucia, the tip of Martinique has the recognisable landmark Diamond Rock (Le Rocher Du Diamant) that for me, as a sailor, signifies we have made it and into the home stretch. I find it both a reassuring and awesome sight. It has the reputation for being the most amazing diving and snorkelling spot, and I heard as much later from INDIAN SUMMER and INFINITY, who were able to try it out. Thanks to Jacques Cousteau, the reefs in Martinique are some of the best protected in the Caribbean, something we would be sure to check out for ourselves on our stay here.