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By No owner — last modified Apr 02, 2018 11:22 AM

 Martinique - Profile

Facts

  • Martinique is an Overseas Department of France and is the main island of the French Antilles, the most northerly of the Windward Islands.
  • Its nearest neighbours are the island republics of Dominica, 22 miles (35 km) to the northwest, and Saint Lucia, 16 miles (26 km) to the south.
  • Martinique is small, about 50 miles (80 km) long and 22 miles (35 km) wide, but with a population of 385,065 it has the highest population density in the Antilles.
  • A Creole dialect similar to that spoken in Haiti is commonly heard, but French is the official language.
  • The Euro is used as currency. For specifics see General Info.
  • Time zone is (GMT-4). For specifics see General Info.
  • Temperature averages 26 C year round; a marine climate with gentle trade winds, intense rain showers; and hurricane season from July to November. See Weather below for more details.
  • There are two volcanoes on the Island, the tallest Mount-Pelée is still active and on May 8 1902 it erupted destroying the then capital of the island, St. Pierre and killing over 30,000 people.
  • Cruising attractions include the French culture, mountainous interior and numerous quiet anchorages.
  • The island uses the IALA-B (red right returning) buoyage system.
  • Martinique has a high standard of yachting facilities. See Yachting Essentials for more information.

Security

Petty street crimes, like purse snatching and some pick-pocketing, are the main crimes that befall tourists visiting Martinique.

Specific areas of concern:

Petty Theft

The main tourist areas are generally safe, but you should take normal precautions. Avoid remote areas at night. Don't take valuables to the beach. Make sure purses and backpacks are closed and not easy to grab.

Maritime Issues:

Locked dinghy and outboard thefts continue to be a problem and hot spots in Martinique include Sainte Anne, Fort de France and Le Marin. Be sure to lift and chain and lock your dinghy and outboard at night and invest in a robust chain and lock for when leaving your dinghy ashore.

The Caribbean Safety and Security Net provides information by anchorage or by island. If you experience a boarding, robbery or attack on your yacht or have information about a yachting-related security incident, go to the CSSN homepage and click on the "Report an Incident" icon. Also be sure to check the noonsite Piracy & Security Pages.

Reported Incidents:

Le Marin Marina, 2019: Dinghy and outboard theft

St Anne, 2019: Dinghy theft

St Pierre, 2019: Dinghy and outboard theft

St Anne La Dunette restaurant, 2019: Dinghy theft

Le Marin Marina, 2019: Equipment theft

Le Marin Carenantilles pontoon, 2019: Dinghy theft

Le Marin Dinghy Dock, 2019: Dinghy theft

Le Marin Marina, 2018: Dinghy theft

Le Marin Anchorage, 2018: Dinghy theft

Fort de France, 2017: Outboard theft

General Emergency Numbers

Last updated:  March 2019

Weather

The average temperature is about 79 °F (26 °C), with average minimums of 68–72 °F (20–22 °C), average maximums of 86–90 °F (30–32 °C), and temperature extremes of 59 °F (15 °C) and 93 °F (34 °C). The northeast trade winds blow almost 300 days per year and temper the heat, but winds from the south are hot and humid and sometimes bring hurricanes.

There are two distinct seasons—a relatively dry season, which lasts from December to June, and a rainy winter season from July to December. There is abundant rain in July and September, but it is irregularly distributed.

Meteo France Outre-mer (in French)

SMX Cyclone (in French)

See the Caribbean National, Regional and Island Weather Websites report for more.

For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page.

Main Ports

Kelly Ran
Kelly Ran says:
Jan 16, 2019 11:20 PM

Be careful sailing the east coast (especially northeast coast). We saw many strings of fishing buoys tied up with floating line. It is nearly impossible to see these buoys from afar due to the swell. Steer clear of them!!!! We were offshore at least 3 nm.

Andrew
Andrew says:
Dec 10, 2018 02:54 PM

Be careful when approaching Anse Arlet and Grand Anse Arlet .... there are a very large number of fishing bouys out there. I only mention it for these bays in particular as the bouys are actually clear pop bottles and are virtually impossible to see in anything but very bright sunlight and small waves.

barbara gladney
barbara gladney says:
Dec 25, 2018 07:35 PM

Thanks for this info. He is exactly what we are looking for to fix our Yamaha outboard. Barbara Gladney, s/v Destiny

Katla
Katla says:
Mar 23, 2018 09:51 PM

Le Marin:

If you are in Marin to have something fixed, and need professional help, I warmly recommend Igor. He is swedish, lives on his boat in Marin, and is able to fix anything, and does not charge much. He is working so he can keep sailing, and he is very good at both. He fixed our outboard engine, when the Honda workshop had given up, and we had too. Now it's running like it never did before. Igor has been a mechanic for 15 years, has many stories to tell, and can be found on his boat "Mistral", close to the Leader Price and of Marin.

Equilibre
Equilibre says:
Feb 10, 2017 02:36 PM

Whilst crossing the channel between Martinique and Saint Lucia, a whale passed under my catamaran and struck the left hull, causing a tear below the water line. Talking with the harbour master, it is the third collision since December. Be careful.

rochero
rochero says:
Jun 09, 2016 09:57 PM

Propane tank: Be aware that you cannot fill your propane/LPG tank in Martinique: You can only exchange it. We ended up buying a campingaz tank (little blue tank, 3 kg) and regulator...

Thalahan
Thalahan says:
Feb 21, 2016 01:22 AM

when arriving from the South Saint Anne's bay is very convenient. Go ashore here and check in at Snack Bou Bou just beside the church. Be careful at the dinghy pontoon, your dinghy will dissappear underneath so use a stern anchor or lift the front out to prevent it from sliding under. The Marina Le Marin located in Cul De Sac is good. Stern-to pontoon with buoys at the bow. Marina staff will help with this. Spacing is generally good. Frequent squals and wind is typical in Martinique, but surroundings are nice. Plenty of live-aboard yacht people who tend to work in and around the marine facilities. The Carinage (haul out area) has just been renewed and has three cranes and brand new concrete base. Recommend this for renewing your anti foul or getting repairs done. Good selection of chandlers in the area, prices are reasonable compared to Grenadines. In fact the whole island is class above all islands south of here. Good supermarkets and restaurants.

Neptune2
Neptune2 says:
Jun 11, 2015 02:03 AM

Fort de France Dinghy Issue
We were (10th June 2015) anchored in Fort de France and made am arrangement with two other cruisers to meet ashore for a picnic. We were last to arrive and whilst approaching the dinghy dock saw three local youths aged about 18 untie our friends dinghy and kick it free. The wind was blowing off shore and we retrieved the dinghy on our way in. The three youths saw us tie the dinghy up and in a threatening manor told us to keep quiet. Please ensure your dinghys are locked to the dock and take care in this city.

svwindhorse
svwindhorse says:
Jan 16, 2014 03:31 AM

Clearance at Petite Bateaux in Grand Anse is no longer available, however clearance at Cyberbase (an internet cafe)in a container-like building on the waterfront at Les Anses D'Arlet is available.

Martinique
Anse Mitan
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