Another day when we dinghied to shore I detoured past this giant British flagged mega yacht to show Joy the disaster that had happened to this carbon fiber rigged racing yacht. For those familiar with the latest hi-tech racing gear, this yacht has a carbon fiber mast and boom with PBO standing rigging plus all the latest in ultra-light, ultra-strong equipment aimed at making the boat go faster. Conditions at 2013 Antigua Race Week were a bit extreme, and this yacht was one of the many casualties. Her mast broke above the second spreader when the PBO rigging failed, and you can see some of the upper sections of the mast supported on deck in plywood cradles.
For us cruisers, the tried and true, somewhat heavier gear, is the sensible way to go. With proper maintenance, inspection, and replacement when needed, standard 1 x 19 stainless steel wire will keep your mast where it belongs. If you dedicate your major maintenance and repair efforts to three goals, keeping the mast upright, keeping water out of the boat, and keeping your steering gear in tip top condition, you’ll go a long way to successful, stress-free cruising.
We wondered what was in store for this disabled yacht, but when a giant yacht transport ship appeared in the harbor, we understood why the mega-yacht had motored all the way to Martinique. After three days of loading smaller yachts, the disabled black beauty was last to be lifted. I have no idea of the cost to transport a yacht in this manner, but for sure, it’s not cheap.
We motored past the huge yacht transport ship on our way out the harbor and got a close up view as they loaded this mega-yacht. The process of loading each yacht takes hours to set up and carry out, and we just happened to be close enough for a good look at the final move.
We had decided to anchor off St. Anne, a small village on the southern tip of Martinique that attracts a large number of cruising yachts to her shores. This small detour would shave an hour off our next day’s sail south to St Lucia, and we’d get the chance to see what the attraction was all about.
For sure, it’s not the dinghy dock you can see ahead because you need to be a gymnast to climb that dock at low tide. And after one night at anchor here, we decided it absolutely is not the anchorage, for we rolled viciously. We both agreed St. Anne would not be in our future plans. We’ll take the flat waters of Cul de Sac Marin