Guadeloupe and onto Les Saintes

Published: May 11th 2007
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Meeting and SharingMeeting and SharingMeeting and Sharing

This is anne and chris again, on the day of arriving we got chatting to someone with a guide book who was french from brittany but spoke english and thats who anne is. So for the next 2 days we all trooped on our 6 legs together to baie pomparie (the nicest beach on terre de haut) and the one i have been running to every morning since my health kick! we hung out at the yacht club and got to meet some more locals of the area and got very into pool also. the place behind that you can see in the photo, i would say is the probably the best cheapest feed on the island because its the one that serves that plantain cheesy concotion and its got a nice outdoor atmoshpere with the barbecue outside allowing your tastebuds to water while you wait, what seems like forever after you have worked up your apetite from swimming and the hills to climb. you get a great view too from some of the mountains around here and from one peak can see dominica - our destination (demar) tomorrow.
It seems that the further south i go in the carribean the nicer and greener the islands become. Now with close to a month left we have to do the fast forward adventure of the islands with the decision that you just cant do all the carribean in one season. Which is quite good really since there is a large population of these cruising boats and people that love to spend all their time in this part of the world. So therefore that means they could spend years of time here getting to see it all, and one day i may just come visiting with my own boat and people and perhaps a hot sailor woman lover if that is meant to happen!!

From Antigua Chris and I got back into the swing of sailing in an instant and landed ourselves in Guadeloupe Where instantly you can see the mountains increasing and the colour more refreshingly green. It was here that we spent a day or two in Dashies and learnt again the advantage of learning the basics of a french before getting to frenchmans land. We got by though and have been lucky enough to meet some french travellers and locals on the way that speak english. We had a great couple of days in here one was visiting the main town and buying some clothes (something that I still find hard not to get caught doing) the other half was spent walking the path to a running creek which you can walk for a good 2 hours up the side of to more water holes and mini waterfalls. It felt so nice to be surrounded by such greenery again and the constant flowing fresh water was music to my little ears. Both Chris and I agreed that we need to bring a hammock each next time we head off into the rainforests to really be able to chill out in comfort for a day with some good books.

When the morning came chris popped his head out of the cockpit and said Mi Quireda!! It was music to my ears and we raced off in the dinghy to pull up beside them and catch up over coffee with what the beautiful boat and her people have been up too since leaving Antigua from the Classic Regatta Race. Always nice to see familar faces again and they headed off that morning themselves for Les Saintes at a hurried pace so Leigh can make it across to the pacific before hurricane season.

We carried on with our day snorkelling and deciding to head further down the west coast of Guadeloupe via Pigeon Island where we got to do some more snorkelling in really clear water. Nothing on the Great Barrier Reef, and Chris says that so far in the Carribean the best snorkelling he has done was in the BVI's. I still believe that the Great Barrier Reef and the Red Sea are the worlds best.

We had an anchorage to ourselves that night off the west coast a little further down south than we expected due to carrying on past a rolly anchorage. If you ever need shelter from the easterly winds and swells from the north you will be guaranteed to find it here in Anse del la Barque. Its a fishing boat port with a quiet main coastal road travelling around it. One night was enough and the fact that Guadeloupe is very big in comparison to the other islands we felt the need to push on.

With all our intentions of stopping in Basse Terre, the second largest city on the island, we ended up sailing right by agreeing that it really looked like a perfect place to get off and hire a car or scooter to zoom around the island on. Yet due to the wind direction not coinsiding with where we could usually anchor we made it all the way to the bottom part of the island of Guadeloupe instead called Les Saintes. Oh and how Les Saintes is so Se Bo (beautiful) its quaint and very quiet and still very french with fantastic meals at fantastic prices. Our bellies have been full since arriving and our french has improved by a couple of words. I have a new favourite type of food called plantains. A type of banana which isnt sweet like the usual type of banana and it has more of a texture like sweet potatoe. Really delicious and one of the ways they cook it is by baking it with cheese and jambon (ham) pieces, oh i could have it again now!!

Onto the alcohol of the island: Rhum ti pouge is a speciality here in Les Saintes and its a sort after beverage in France, but man its really potent and makes you feel fire in your nostrals even when you take the smallest sips. A lot different to the velvety Antiguan Rum. There is many ways to make the Les Saintes verstion taste a little different mostly by adding sugar with a fruit, whether it be citron, passionfruit or pomme (apple). Chris says its like gut rot, My guts agreed today to that after the locals last night ensured that we have more Rhum with them during dinner and after dinner carrying on to some other bar, ordering more and finding out that they usually have it as an apertif.
So by the morning my hangover was of the unable to move and do anything till midday at a struggle kind, with plans already made to meet the men again for lunch at Marigot baie, we took to a three course lunch of fish pudding, octopus, plantains, and glace (ice cream) and then the waiter was very kind and brought us out his version of Rhum ti pougue on the house and so I had to add to my rotting gut again. His version was the best by far but still could be used for fuelling rockets.

It was nice to be able to sail around one of the three islands of Les Saintes, Terre de Haut, the biggest of the three islands. It has beautiful rocky structure which carries up the mountain with a steep incline and has not much vegetation growing on it till you get up the mountain some hundred feet. There were frigot birds flying around to the dozen and at one point of the morning a fisherman was bringing home his catch so there were plenty of the birds circling waiting for their part of the feed. To see the frigots dive in so quickly and out even quicker is quite some feat as they have a massive wing span and not an oily composite in their feathers, which doesnt allow them to be able to fly back out of the water if they get wet. I heard a story from George back in Barbuda that he once got to see a Frigot stuck in the water and two others flew along and picked him out. Totally amazing.

Tomorrow is preparation for sailing to Dominica the island of the Carribean with the lushest vegetation and hundreds of waterfalls. Oh yes this is the island that I feel that im going to like best for nature.

So finally I have had a night off of socialising and whatever else to spend enough time to catch up on the journal so I hope its been of some entertainment for you all.

Back to reading up on Central America now. Oh and guess what else? I have made the plans for my next part of the year after the Spanish fiesta of Learning and exploring more. Coming to Australia to visit everyone dear again and flying out to America to study in Newport Rhode Island at the International Yacht Restoration School. Thats right folks Boat Building. Wooden Beauties, its something so fantastic that i love to bits already. A guy told me about the school and I haven't stopped thinking about it since. Such a good gut feeling about it. So i feel it will happen. Already got my first response from the school the other day. Never thought I would be going to live in America, but this is the part of America that has a strong unamerican feel I am told by a variety of people. It almost sounds english to me. One thing is for sure though, it will take a lot of getting used to being in cold cold cold weather again. Especially since i have been living in bikinis for the last 6 months! Even at 11 at night!! I feel that I am going to be picking up lifelong skills that will be able to help in many ways over the next two years of my training. Building two boats and will leave me in good stead for work elsewhere so i wont have to work in the super yacht industry for much longer! Newport has a strong yachting scene so im sure there will be time for small racing meets and meeting some more great people along the way.

well its really time to sign off now. A sleep in the hammock under the stars is in order I feel. Thanks for your messages everyone, let me know whats going on in your worlds.


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