The Pages of The Gray Wizard


On Board
St Thomas
St Maarten


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Martinique was perhaps the most developed of the islands we visited.  We docked at Fort-de-France, the capital, which was filled with yachts and sailboats and in-season visiting cruise liners.  This day we were the only ship in port.  Martinique hosts a volcano, Mt. Pelee  on the northern side of the island near Saint-Pierre.

Our tour this day was somewhat disappointing as the sites were few and our guide somewhat uninformative (When asked how many people lived on the island his response was "Not too many").  The tour did take us through the rain forests (not as lush as those on Dominica) along the way we watched the harvesting of mahogany.  Then on to visit the Balata Church, a replica of the Sacred Heart Basilica of Montmarte in Paris.  Finally up to Saint-Pierre which was known as the "Paris of the West Indies," until it was destroyed in a volcanic eruption in 1902.  There we visited the Saint-Pierre Museum which had many artifacts dug up after the volcanic destruction.

The Rain Forests

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A fresh-water stream in the rain forest fed from the mountains.  
While we were there, we saw people come to wash their clothes in the stream.

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Marlis with her shoes off again.  She said the water was ice cold.

Mahogany Harvest

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Mahogany being harvested along the roadside.  Funny, I saw wood, but Marlis saw furniture!

Sacre Ceur la Martinique

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The Sacred Heart Church of Balata, 
a replica of the Sacre Ceur in Montmarte, Paris.

Marlis nearby the church.
Notice the unusual "fanned" tree in the background

St. Pierre

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Some of the ruins of St. Pierre following the 
eruption of Mt. Pelee in 1902.

Behind those clouds looms Mt. Pelee, now dormant.

Rainbow ala Martinique

On our way back to the ship, Marlis spotted and 
captured this beautiful rainbow on film.

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The Race to the Ship

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After an unscheduled stop at a rum factory where even the driver tasted the wares, we headed back to the ship with not a lot of time to spare.  With the ship in site, we ran into traffic and it was touch and go as to whether we would make it back in time.  Obviously we did.  Although this tour was not the high point of our cruise, we did get to meet two crew members who toured with us.  Larry a saxophone player with the ship's orchestra was originally from Brooklyn and was now living in New Hampshire.  With him was the ship's Sound Engineer who was a full-blooded American Indian whose father was an Elected Chief and whose grandfather was a traditional chief.  We learned a lot about what its like to sign on as part of the crew on a luxury cruise liner from these two.