Day Eight, March 1, Saint Pierre, Martinique

Harbour of Saint Pierre
We sailed through the night, where Red watch was hit with a few squalls, and had to raise and lower sails continuously. The next morning, Green watch was awoken just in time, as we sailed into the harbour of Saint Pierre, and they dropped anchor. 

We were all taxied ashore quickly, so we could get a good start on the day. We began at the Volcanology Museum of Saint Pierre, we paid the equivalent of $1 Canadian each, to enter. It was basically one large room, which contained artifacts, personal statements, recollections and photos of before, during and after the eruption of Montagne Pelée, in 1902. 

Cyndi and Chris Hemingway spent the day taking pictures and detailed notes for their research and presentation of the Eruption of 1902. 

These three pictures illustrate the remains of a church, that was totally destroyed by the eruption. 

This picture is of one of the grandeur staircases which made up part of the theater, before it was destroyed. Above the staircases, the actual performance theater is just beyond; the building to the the left, was the prison. Below, the picture inset is of the insane asylum. Inside are iron chairs where prisoners were strapped down, and most likely perished during the eruption, unable to escape.

After the museum we began our tour of the ruins, scattered throughout the city. We walked up to the military barracks and the insane asylum. We all snapped pictures like crazy, trying to record the incredible amount of destruction. All the buildings were made out of stone, and would have seemed to have been built solidly. But only the buildings foundations are left, as a reminder to the destructive power of the earth. We walked to the Church, then the Theater, and as stated above, the Prison was situated beside it (where the only survivor was an inmate in solitary confinement). The Cathedral was our last stop, it too had been ravaged, but it has since been rebuilt.

View of some of cells at the insane asylum. It was here that patients were burned to death while strapped to the iron chairs visible in each cell. 

We finished our touring of Saint Pierre, and headed out for some drinks, most of us tried to stay together. We started out on this one restaurant on the beach, some of our group ate, while some of our group just had drinks. We continued on from there to little pubs and drink houses. Our group got split up, and we met up with each other now and again. We then met up with some of the crew.

At 6:00 p.m. we met up with the majority of our group for dinner at this restaurant further down on the beach. Some people went ahead to check it out, and found that it did not open until 7:00p.m., so we decided to forget it, and we would walk back towards the pier (our pick-up point) and find another place.  As we walked back, we chatted with some of the locals, and then watched the sun as dipped below the horizon. 

Sunset on the shore of Saint Pierre 

Some of us ended up back at the first restaurant to eat, as we could not find anywhere else. At that restaurant we met up with our professors, while others who did not want to go there again, met up with some of the crew and went for seafood pizza. We were on shore leave until 8:00 p.m., most of us tried to make phone calls home and say hi (hahahaha, its awesome down here) and before we knew it, it was 8:00p.m.. We were waiting on the pier for the whaler to come and taxi us back aboard the ship, when the Captain offered an extension to some of us until 10:00 p.m.. So Jessica, Stacey, Chris, Matt, Martin and Craig stayed and decided to go for some crêpe chocolat at Chez Hugo. It cost us 15 francs each, but Martin and Matt decided not to eat, because they were too full. 

We caught the whaler back to the ship at 10:00, and prepared to sail for Dominica. Green watch raised the anchor, while Red and White watches raised the sails, and we were off once more.