Wednesday, December 19, 2012


A Yole is a traditional Martinique wooden fishing boat.  Today these colorful boats are mostly used for island tours and racing.

Above and below are pictures of a young crew preparing one for what appeared to be a training session.

The boat is pulled up to the beach and a long pole is inserted into a hole in a seat at approximately the center of the boat.

The mast with the sail attached is laid on the beach and the mast base is aligned with hole of the mast step.

While some crew members use the pole as a lever to careen the boat, others attempt to step the mast.

It took several tries, but eventually they prevailed.

The boats have no keel and use a large paddle as a rudder.

Movable ballast in the form of crew members sitting on long poles wedged under the toe-rail of the leeward side keeps the boat upright.

The head-down crew member’s job seems to be bailing.

The Annual Yole Boat Race is a week-long event held each summer (July/August).  The around the island race consists of seven legs over seven days with celebrations and island style partying each night.

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