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Old 18-11-2014, 17:43   #1
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Les Saintes to Martinique in a day?

Has anyone done Les Saintes to St. Pierre, Martinique, in a day?

Seems doable, but maybe not with prevailing current and/or brisk trade winds with foul counter currents opposing the trades.

Will be moving through there in early February, North to South. Have only a few days to get from PTP Guadeloupe to Marin, Martinique. Not really enough time to stop in Dominica if I can avoid it. Prefer to hand out in Martinique or Les Saintes.

It is about 72 nm. Doing the passage in a Beneteau 484. I should be pretty fast.

Will have good crew, but one newbie on board with a delicate stomach. Want to minimize the pain.

Counter current in the Martinique Passage looks to start around 2-3 PM depending on the day we go. We will enter that passage around noon heading south.

Advice from experience appreciated.

Cheers.
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Old 18-11-2014, 17:58   #2
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Re: Les Saintes to Martinique in a day?

Its doable , i made 2 trips les saintes st Pierre and even les saintes fort de france arriving fort de france to late, is like wake up very early, if the wind is NE go, if is SE maybe you arrive a bit late in St Pierre, motor hard the leeward coast , sail close to Dominica until you are 1 or 2 miles in the channel and point a bit to windward after ,if the wind permit, when you are close to Martinique avoid to sail very close to the north tip of the island because there with a countercurrent nasty seas build up until you clear the tip , after that is a easy run to st Pierre...
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Old 18-11-2014, 18:01   #3
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Re: Les Saintes to Martinique in a day?

Haa, one Word of caution in les saintes, becareful with the fishing nets early in the morning, there is plenty, put someone in the bow shouting where they are, and if you dont feel confy with the pass between the 2 islands , run the corner, more easy...
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Old 18-11-2014, 18:35   #4
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Re: Les Saintes to Martinique in a day?

Thanks to both for the excellent tips. Just the kind of info I was hoping for on Cruiser's Forum.

Best Regards...
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Old 22-11-2014, 15:21   #5
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Re: Les Saintes to Martinique in a day?

It's an easy shot, but a stop in Dominica is well worth it. If you insist on a one day trip, just get underway from the Saintes early (before dawn) and you should have a hook down in St. Pierre before sundown.

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Old 23-11-2014, 08:27   #6
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Re: Les Saintes to Martinique in a day?

Thanks for the reply and advice - really appreciated. We have only a week to get from Bas du Fort to Marin, unfortunately. A one-way bareboat charter. If we get a good weather window I will likely take it and get both crossings done in a day (Dominica and Martinique Passages). If its rough we will stop in Roseau and wait for a window.
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Old 23-11-2014, 09:25   #7
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Re: Les Saintes to Martinique in a day?

Roseau its a bad spot to wait, and very rolly , you can get in the chanel 20 to 25 knts trades blowing hard but is not something you cant handle, and seas around 6 ft, with one reef in the main and the jib reefed its a sporty croosing, Martinique is visible after 2 or 3 miles in the chanel.. Good luck.
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Old 23-11-2014, 14:16   #8
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Re: Les Saintes to Martinique in a day?

Yes, I can tell that it is not a good anchorage. Seems very deep until you are right on the beach, and its an open roads.

If we get Force 5 or less, we cross. Force 6, or more, we hole up.
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Old 20-02-2015, 12:01   #9
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Re: Les Saintes to Martinique in a day?

FYI Captain

Just got back from our trip.

Your advice was on the mark, but weather was uncooperative.

We got down to Roseau from Les Saintes about 12:30 PM, but wind at the top of the Martinique Passage was SSE veering South, right on our nose. 18-20 kts.

We bailed and got a mooring in "rolly Roseau" ... yee haw. Took a shopping trip ashore for fresh fruits, adult beverages. We liked Dominica. Beautiful.

Wind remained from the SSE and the crossing to St. Pierre took most of the next day, with lively close hauled sail around the NW cape of Martinique against 1 kt of counter current.

After that, of course, wind backed around to the NE for the rest of the trip. :-)

Only on our two crossing days was it SSE.
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