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Boarding the Soley Mambowith Kata Mambo

Boarding the Soley Mambo

Today I’m embarking for the day on the Soley Mambo, one of the catamarans in the Kata Mambo fleet. This one’s ecolo: the Soley Mambo emits zero CO2 emissions because it’s 100% electric!

I’ve chosen the North Caribbean Discovery Day and I’m hoping to meet some dolphins… Meet at the Kata Mambo office at the Pointe du Bout marina for an 8am departure.

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Jérémy

Soley Mambo's captain

We’re welcomed aboard by the day’s crew: Jérémy the captain, Mickaël the guide and Jonathan the cook, super friendly, smiling and looking after everyone.

There’s a nice smell of hot caramel wafting from the kitchen: it’s Jonathan preparing the meal, and it bodes well for the banana flambé that await us later! In short, the welcome is top-notch and bodes well for the day ahead…

The Soley Mambo

Mickaël shows us the various spaces – very well thought out – of the 44-foot catamaran (13.80m long by 7m wide): the airy interior saloon, the exterior, the two nets, the large sunbathing areas…Very practical is the staircase in the center of the boat, which goes deep into the water, making it easier to climb back up after swimming (ideal for people with reduced mobility)!

It’s equipped with solar panels for servitudes and dynamos on the propellers. These generate electricity, which recharges the boat’s batteries when sailing under sail. It can accommodate 25 people on board.

Discovering the North Caribbean

The captain sets course for Fort-de-France bay, where already a few dolphins are pointing to the tip of their beaks. Mickaël explains the history of Martinique, Fort-de-France, the various forts, the wars with the English. Very interesting. Then head north, direction Saint-Pierre. We sail along the windward coast. Between the sail and the noiseless engine, sailing is very pleasant. Jonathan offers us fresh fruit accompanied by juice or planter.

Off Bellefontaine we are joined by pods of dozens of dolphins. The atmosphere goes up a notch, everyone is captivated, marveling, filming and wanting to capture this always magical moment. The crew gives us a wealth of instructive info about cetaceans, the different species and the AGOA sanctuary they’ve trained for and signed the charter for. They are all trained in responsible observation of marine mammals. And I have to say that the silent electric motor also allows a much gentler and more respectful approach to these fascinating animals.

Stopover at Saint-Pierre

We approach the magnificent baie de Saint-Pierre overlooked by the majestic Mount Pelée. Dozens of pelicans are out hunting for small fish. Our guide, decidedly educational and interesting, tells us about the terrible catastrophe of May 8, 1902 when the eruption of Montagne Pelée killed nearly 30,000 people…

We dock at the pontoon around 11am, just opposite the market. We’re free for an hour! Some take the opportunity to shop and souvenirs, others – including me – go walking around town. We’ve been well briefed on the various sites to see, the Notre-Dame-du-Bon-Port cathedral, then along the streets the ruins of the former theater, the Cyparis dungeon, one of the two survivors of the volcanic eruption…

It’s lunchtime !

Returning aboard around noon, the captain heads up the coast and drops anchor opposite the Raisiniers beach at Le Carbet. Time for lunch! We enjoy a well-deserved aperitif, ti-punch and planteur are de rigueur, accompanied by delicious toasts of codfish. We then move on to the table, where the meal concocted on board is served to us by the plate. The atmosphere is very convivial, with everyone sharing their anecdotes and impressions of the morning.

On the menu: raw vegetable salad, mahi-mahi or smoked chicken, accompanied by rice and plantain bananas. It’s objectively very good! Although I love fish, today I’m choosing the chicken because when it’s creole smoked it’s my guilty pleasure…

Before dessert, we head for another anchorage: Fond Boucher with its impressive cliffs and crystal-clear waters. This is where we treat ourselves to the famous bananas flambé, with a little coffee! Then it’s off for a swim!

For around 45 minutes everyone is free to dive, swim and observe with their mask and snorkel (noodles are on loan). The coral reef and the myriad of tropical fish  that populate its seabed are exceptional in Martinique. A real aquarium! The crystal-clear water is 28°, it’s paradise! On board we have a small snack, as diving whets the appetite…

Our captain then sets course back south. We slowly skirt the coast up close, which is one of the advantages of this electric catamaran. The Creole music on board encourages some to sketch out dance steps. Lying on the sundeck I gaze, amazed as always, at the towns and villages and their churches standing out on the horizon.

We arrive at the marina around 5pm, heads full of memories and hearts full of joy. Everyone agrees: it was a great day! We thank the crew with whom we shared such good times. I learned a lot from this trio! Thanks to them!!!

The boat can be privatized to celebrate a special occasion: birthday, works council, bachelor party, wedding, etc. A customized dream mini-cruise to be defined.

Kata Mambo owns 2 other catamarans and also offers half-day cruises: to meet dolphins and to the beaches of the South Caribbean.

Go ahead from us!

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