Saint Lucia & Martinique

Dear All,

I’m back from a two-week trip to Saint Lucia and Martinique. Got to see all local bats and melon-headed whales, and also to snorkel with sperm whales and Fraser’s dolphins for $40. I’m hoping to visit the Lesser Antilles again in a few months, so it will be a while until I send Jon my trip report, but if you are planning to go there this year, please let me know and I’ll send you the draft.

BTW, if anyone would be interested in joining me next time, please let me know (just express your general interest, since I don’t have any details yet). It will most likely be some or all of the following: Montserrat, Guadeloupe, Dominica, St. Vincent and Grenada; we’ll do it in blitz mode and try to get all endemic mammals and birds, do some cetacean watching, and find a few herps, too.


  • John Fox

    That’s cool, V. What outfit took you out for the cetaceans?

    FWIW, Bahamas Hutias are plentiful on East Plana Cay in the lower Bahamas. Not easy to get to, though. They have been introduced onto other Cays but I couldn’t find any good place to try.

    Good luck with the blitz. I’ve birded several islands this year off of cheap cruise trips and found the logistics of getting around independently somewhat daunting.


  • Vladimir Dinets

    Mystic Tours in Soufriere on SL. They run the tours Mon, Wed and Sun on a sailboat, and kill the engine to get closer to the whales under sail – a really cool setup. I wish I had time to do more trips with them, but I only discovered them in the last few days of the trip. They often have trouble getting the minimum number of participants; the full cost of a 4-hr trip is $330, or $220 for 2 hrs. They took me out for 2 hours for $40 because I promised some advertising, and I was the only passenger. They can also let you dive with humpbacks in Feb-Mar, and see pantropical spotted dolphins and short-finned pilot whales at least once a week.

    In 1998 I was on a research boat that sailed within 100 m of East Plana Key, and got to see the hutias through our captain’s binoculars.

    The main problem on these islands is that car rental companies have offices at airports but not at ferry terminals; only some of them do pickups. On Martinique, the taxi from the ferry to the airport costs more than day’s rental. You have to talk to fellow passengers on the ferry to get a ride. But once you get a car, everything is relatively easy.

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