If I’m in the photo or the photo is really really professional, then the photography credit goes to Paul Woo.
It’s time for another joint journey with The Yacht Week on our second collaboration together, this time for a much smaller excursion to visit Martinique and St. Lucia amidst all this craziness with Omicron.
With NYC at nearly a 1 in 3 positivity rate and CDC telling us we can go back to work after as few as 5 days from a positive COVID test, and after a week of drowning in understaffed healthcare facilities across the city due to COVID positive tests, I’ll take my 14 days of daily negative rapid antigen and PCRs as a sign to quit while I’m ahead and getting the fuck out of Omicron City.
I feel that instead of working as a glorified human testing site (since so few patients are getting sick or hospitalized due to most of NYC being vaccinated so I feel pretty useless as a doctor these days), I feel it’s safer for me and my own mental health to take a week isolating myself on a boat with other fully boosted healthcare workers who have gone through the same shit-show and rigorous negative testing requirements. The only exception in our group is one person who had tested positive at least more than 10-14 days ago before testing negative on both a rapid antigen and PCR at least 3 more times before starting this trip with us. We’re also fully boosted for an extra layer of security.
And sadly not all of us made it: I had 4 monsooners drop out at the last minute due to being unable to make these requirements. We started with 11, and we’re now down to 6. Luckily I bought G1G travel insurance for all of ourselves a week ago, so the 4 are getting 100% of their money back as COVID-19 is covered in the trip cancellation policy. I hope this is good enough…otherwise we’re all going to quit tomorrow and you’ll have no more safe or open hospitals left to keep society afloat.
Therefore, unlike our Sardinia trip which consisted of us filling 3 yachts out of 22 in the fleet, this time we kept it to filling a single yacht out of 5 total on this route.
Flying direct into Martinique from the USA is nearly impossible unless you’re lucky to get a cheap flight from Miami. Otherwise I had to finagle a hack flight path consisting of 2 separate bookings of JFK to PTP in Guadeloupe and then PTP to FDF to make the itinerary affordable (<$300).
Taking the 7:50am AF 621/Delta 8251 flight from JFK to PTP, I landed 4 hours later at 1:15pm, and then because of a last minute cancellation by Air Antilles, I instead joined Sabrina, Kimmy, and Paul in taking off again at 2:30pm for a 3:15pm arrival into FDF. Tammy and Koichi would join us later in the evening on Air Antilles and AirCaribes flights.
After arriving into Martinique, we hailed a cab for about 10 euros per person into the city center.
Settling into our lodgings within the hour at Simon Hotel by the bay, we then sauntered in an empty plaza outside. One of my favorite things in life are freedom you feel in the first few minutes of every new trip.
We then walked over 10 min into a city completely shuttered for Sunday.
We headed into town to Market Hall Fort-de-France.
Then turned back around for a visit to Schœlcher Park which faces the town’s cultural center and Court of Appeals
Nearby, don’t miss St. Louis Cathedral, built in 1895.
Nearby is the town’s prettiest structure: Bibliothèque Schœlcher, which houses the works of abolitionist Victor Schoelcher.
We then crossed into Parc La Savane for a glimpse of local living.
We then kept walking further down to enjoy music by the Malecon at sunset:
We then walked down peninsula past the park for Fort Saint-Louis: a fortress, former naval base, and now public museum originally built during the reign of Louis XIII.
Afterwards we finally had our first meal of the day at the hotel terrace restaurant where we devoured their entire menu despite missing items.
Then we took back a bottle of white wine and enjoyed a round of “We’re Not Really Strangers” before kicking off an impromptu jam session: Tammy somehow packed both a guitar and ukelele in her carry-on; she even almost brought a keyboard!
The next morning we tried to visit all of the above when everything would be open on a Monday, including the best fried fish sandwich I’ve enjoyed in recent memory. Thanks to Paul’s find, we went to find the obvious reason why: Asian.
The town is so small we didn’t mind another walk around the neighborhood:
After enjoying a rooftop drink, we then set off on our cab ride to the marina to be with the rest of the yacht weekers. If you have time on your drive, do a short detour for Sacré-Coeur de Balata, surrounded by cliffs north of Fort-de-France.
The views from here:
- At time of posting in Fort-de-France, it was 23 °C - Humidity: 73% | Wind Speed: 13km/hr | Cloud Cover: partly cloudy