The Diamond Rock

The Diamond rock is an islet that emerges from the sea south of Martinique. It takes its name from the shape and reflections it takes at certain times of the day. At the time of Napoleon it had a strategic value because it controlled access to the bay of Fort de France and dominated the stretch of sea that separates the island of Martinique from that of Saint Lucia. The British occupied it and placed a few batteries of cannons on top and in a well-sheltered cave, placed a garrison equipped with food and water would have been on guard and would have bombarded enemy ships with cannon fire. For a rather long period, about a year and a half, the British managed to prevent the passage of French ships, until – after a thousand hard attempts and significant human losses – the rock was finally conquered. To know the details of this story, just search on wikipedia, but here in Martinique another story is told, certainly more interesting. That is, the French ships arriving on the island responded to the fire of the Diamond rock believing it to be a battle ship, unable to understand why it never sank. The rock’s conquest in the end took place due to an ingenious strategy: numerous barrels of rum were thrown into the sea, calculating that the current would push them towards the Diamond; the British recovered them and got drunk to the point of lowering their defenses. They were so taken by surprise by the French that they managed to conquer this fortress in the middle of the sea. According to Valerio this is the true story! However for anyone who sets sail from Fort de France, with a 210° route to reach the island of Saint Lucia, the Diamond is still there to guard the bay and it seems that at any moment it may start shooting cannons again!