guadaloupe to les saintes

Published: January 7th 2009
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I can’t believe we have only been here a week and already so much has happened After the terrible trip to Deshaies we woke up the next morning find the sea calm,. Sparkling and enticing. It was pleasant and so of course we had to go out to the 100 metre mark to put out the fishing rods. Alan’s arm is a lot better. Pigeon Island was only about an hour and a half away. Pretty little anchorage, took two attempts to make the anchor hold. Lots of eel grass, very slippery stuff. We put our gear on and did a dive. It was very clear, pretty and full of fish. There was a big spotty green moray eel who wanted to be friends, but I was not too keen on him. It was clear blue, filled with trigger fish, angel fish, blue green and yellow fish, and lovely corals and in pristine condition. It is a protected park, so when we saw the lobster we just left him alone.
Alan went ashore to do a recci but there was such a huge swell he came back with the dinghy covered in mud and so we decided just
pigeon island anchoragepigeon island anchoragepigeon island anchorage

We did a dive on the island off here,.
to stay on board. Next morning when we pulled up the anchor it was wrapped round a huge mooring, no wonder we did not move, so on to Riviere sens, near Basse Terre, the very uninspiring administrative capital of the lower part of the island, also called Basse Terre.
We have been in this marina before, to pick up Jim and Jan, and it is very broken and derelict after one of the hurricanes. There is hardly any space, and there are several sunken boats littered around the pontoons. Some of the pontoons are ripped and twisted concrete posts. We hung around a bit and eventually the guy came out, I asked in my French for a nights mooring, and he said ‘I have a small place, you will have to push the boats out’ or actually it went a bit like this:
‘Oui, un place’ ‘small, petit’
‘Can we push the boats apart?’
‘Ok we will manage, merci’

So we did manage, to push the boats apart but he forgot to mention that there was a rope under the water across the mooring. Bang, that was the prop. The boat is straddled across the mooring, The guy on the quay said, ‘Ok you ‘ave problem, you know where to pay in le matin’
‘Fine. Merci’ Alan had his fins and mask on super quick into the filthy water. After about half an hour of pulling and pushing managed to get the rope off the prop. Then tied up to the pontoon. Straight out so as not to miss the customs. It is soooo hot I think I am going to faint. The sweat is dripping off my head onto the papers, not very pleasant. The customs man is really nice. ‘Do you speak English?’ I ask. He replies‘ Parlez vous francais?’ ‘Un peu’ ‘Then we speak french.’
We ask about the big supermarche, a bus is due outside, as we leave the customs the bus arrives, we jump on. The ladies in the bus are very friendly and tell us in french what to do. The bus goes up through the town and the little roads with pretty red roofed bungalows, verandas tumbling with flowers. They tell us when to get off and ask where we are from. When we get off we try to ask about returning. They all join in the conversation and eventually a girl is pushed forward who speaks some English. We are still confused. The big supermarket is ahead, we get to the entrance and a man is putting a sign up, closed for stocktaking.

Soon we are on another bus after a long hot walk and in the main city, the market is just closing but we find a rubbish supermarket just enough to buy our things. We stagger back to the bus station where we are directed by about 10 people to the bus. We sit on the bus while the driver goes for lunch, and we are hot, sticky exhausted. Back tot he boat, collapse for a sleep. Then the boat starts banging on the bottom, Alan is up and down all night but it is obvious, it is too shallow for us here. We are now awake, Alan is paying the bill and off to the saintes. (For a rest).


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