Most anyone would count themselves as pretty lucky to drop anchor at any of the 49 islands, islets, rocks, and atolls that surround Martinique. If the islet just so happened to be Ilet Thierry, even more so.
This was the first of Martinique’s secluded private islands that I had the pleasure of visiting nearly 10 years ago. I’ve been back to The Isle of Flowers nearly a dozen times since then, visiting many of her other offshore islands in the process. As they say, though, there’s nothing like the first time.
We dropped anchor in about the same spot pictured above, trudging ashore through the surf and rocks to that small patch of sand. Up a small path behind the rocks, our guides took us to a rustic picnic area. Our chef was already there preparing a meal so fantastic my mind still teases my taste buds with its memory – enormous, fresh-caught lobsters culled from the surrounding sea mere minutes before we arrived!
A generator hummed in the distance keeping the Lorraine’s cold as I honed my new skills at crafting a ti-punch under the direction of our guide. He spoke very little English, and I absolutely zero French, but our shared zeal for the moment, for the fortunate circumstances that brought us together here in this magical place made communicating a breeze.
All of a sudden there was music. Zouk, the sexy and infectious sound of the French Caribbean, was blaring from an old boom box. It wasn’t enough to tap your feet; you had to get up and dance.
We were alone – our small group and our guides – in the middle of the sea, on an island I would later fail to find on an online map, drinking in an unforgettable moment. It was my first brush with a phenomena a few of my friends on the island call The Martinique Effect.
*Lead photo credit: Craig Guillot.