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Fort de France, Martinique

Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

6th February, 2013

Enjoying a spot of snorkelling

As the capital of France’s Caribbean overseas department of Martinique, Fort de France is often termed the ‘Paris’ of the Caribbean. I’m not sure who came up with that label but it is evident that whoever did has not been to both places.

Yes, the French flag flies from every ship as a courtesy flag, people speak French and the local currency is the Euro, but really that’s about it. Perhaps historically in the 17th century when the city was called Fort Royal there would have been greater similarities but I sincerely doubt it.

Picking the pilot up at 0630, in order to avoid the usual morning winds that increase an hour or so after sunrise, we made our way along the buoyed channel into the harbour. Turning and then backing up to our intended berth the Sapphire sat dominant in the port once our lines were ‘all fast’.

There were a number of tours our passengers could choose to take in Martinique to explore the island. Ironically, I chose to opt for a chance to go snorkelling for the morning, jumping into a boat at the end of the quay and setting back out across the harbour the way I’d came only a couple of
hours earlier.

Armed with my waterproof camera that I use when diving on leave, I was able to explore (and photograph) part of the strange and alien world beneath the surface of the sea that I spend so long traveling across.

A glowing jellyfish

The first of our two snorkelling stops included a cave that was home to a colony of fruit bats. The cave entrance was also home to a small number of jelly fish (of the non-stinging variety) that glowed with an almost ethereal light as they moved through the water. The second stop caused delight from some of our passengers as a couple of turtles made an appearance near where the boat anchored, gracefully swimming just above the seabed searching for food.

After a short beach stop the boat headed back towards the harbour and the Sapphire where my paperwork awaited. I would have taken it with me of course but it would have only have gotten soggy!
At 1800, just a few minutes before sunset the Sapphire set for sea once more with the neighbouring Caribbean Island of St Lucia our destination.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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