National Geographic : 1965 Dec
sight, and a man overboard is a skipper's worst nightmare. Instinctively I let Finisterre come up, and there was Win, somehow clinging to the lee main shrouds. He was buried on the plunges, yet operating a waterproof camera with an outthrust arm whenever he could see (page 771). When we slammed past Diamond Rock, which stands off the southwest corner of Martinique, we could appreciate one of the British Navy's great feats. In 1804, when Com modore Sir Samuel Hood was blockading Fort de France, he found that French ships were slipping through the Fours Channel, between Diamond Rock and Martinique. To seal it off, he anchored his flagship and sent five can non and 120 men and boys to the top of Diamond Rock, an almost vertical precipice. An artist who witnessed the guns being hoisted by tackles slung from pinnacles of rock wrote that it looked like "mice, hauling a little sausage." For near ly 17 months the brave band held the Rock, exposed to sun and rain, but effectively preventing French vessels from using the channel. Hints of Marseille Flavor Fort de France In Fort de France's inner harbor, Le Carenage, we were made welcome as soon as we began to warp the stern into the quay. Mail sent in care of my friend Andre Garcin was delivered, and soon we were being driven toward the cen ter of the city in a car he had sent. For 18 years Andre and I had corresponded. He is director of Credit Martiniquais, the island's foremost bank, and an ardent yachtsman. We had seen each other only once in the interval, yet such is Mar tinique hospitality that all was arranged for our reception. As the chauffeur whisked us into town from the secluded Carnage, my eyes widened. I looked out at boutiques dis playing Dior neckties, Hermes scarves, and Chanel per fumes, much like a miniature of Rue St. Honored, a chic shopping street of Paris. Gourmet food shops offered pate de foie gras and fresh grapes flown in from France. In side walk cafes couples sipped aperitifs, or lone men sat hunched over a newspaper-France-Antillesinstead of France-Soir, but the atmosphere was the same.* Suddenly I felt I had made a great mistake in my navigation and somehow sailed Finisterre from the West Indies to Europe. Later, when I told Andre Garcin of my feeling, he smiled. "But you are in France, mon ami. Since March 19, 1946, Martinique has been a Department of the Republic, with *"Martinique: A Tropical Bit of France" was described by Gwen Dray ton Allmon in the February, 1959, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC. Dusting banana plants against leaf-spot disease, a plane sprays oily mist on a St. Lucia field. The island's chief money crop, bananas bring in 80 percent of St. Lucia's foreign exchange. Barefoot "headers," or banana-boat loaders, of St. Lucia balance plastic-wrapped stems of fruit. The refrigerated ship at dockside in Port Castries will carry the cargo to Britain. For each bundle the women receive a token worth three cents from the man seated at table.