Thursday, March 28, 2013

Guadeloupe fly by

The passage from Antigua to Guadeloupe is short - 47 miles - and gives us a great view of Montserrat most of the way. We did the trip on a crisp dry day and could clearly see the crater smoking. It would have been a good day to revisit the island and see it in a brighter light but Guadeloupe beckoned so we sailed on.

Our plans have changed a bit and now include a trip back up to the BVI to connect with our friends Wendy and Dave who are coming in for a visit. Since we have plans to visit with Skip's family in St. Croix at the end of April, we've decided to start wandering back that way and make this first pass at Guadeloupe a slow one rather than packing in ten hikes and long sails each day to try to take in the whole island in a week. It's a BIG island and if you know anything about us by now.... it's that we tend to travel s.l.o.w.l.y. and stick around places for a while.

So.... Guadeloupe at a glance. We like it!

Putting up our Q flag in Deshaies Guadeloupe
We've spent a lot of time in the clear water here - in Deshaies, Pigeon Island and in The Saints, a small group of island off the southern coast of Guadeloupe.

Bright corals in Deshaies

A Peacock flounder comes to check out our anchoring job
Skip chases him... hoping to make him give up his camo and show his bright blue spots
Our bottom looks great but our prop needs a shave
On the one day we spent in Deshaies we hiked along the Deshaies River, climbing over rocks and stopping several times to swim in the clear fresh water pools.

Bright flowers and all kinds of edibles grow wild along the sides of the roads here and we're salivating as we pass the mango trees with their young fruit.

Carambola (starfruit)
Because we really wanted to see The Saints, we spent very little time ashore on Guadeloupe during this visit. It's the biggest island in the Eastern Caribbean so there's a lot to see and we'll stop again on our way south.

We had big seas and high winds on our way from Pigeon Island to The Saints
Looking back toward Guadeloupe once we come into the lee of The Saints.
The main mooring field near the town on Terre de Haut was not only full, but very exposed to the wind and seas when we arrived. We passed by some friends on their boat in the windy harbor and they shouted to us "Don't stay out here if you can help it!" so we opted to pick up a mooring at Ilet a Cabrit - a small island just north of Terre de Haut. It was much more protected and the John H, our trusty dinghy, kept us dry on the ride to and from town. The peace and quiet, and the snorkeling off the boat at Ilet a Cabrit was enough to keep us there during the few days we had to spend in the islands.

Friends Tim and Nancy on s/v Larus had even less time than we did to spend in Guadeloupe before heading off to Martinique to meet with friends. We'll look for them down island in a few months... but here's their pretty boat sailing off from The Saints.

Fair winds Larus....
We walked across the island to the beaches on the far side of Terre de Haut and up to Fort Napolean which, FYI is only open from 9 to 12:30. We arrived at 2:30. At least we got some nice views from the top.

Locked out of Fort Napolean
The Star Clipper cruise ship parks right in the middle... no need to worry about moorings or crowds
Terre de Haut is a lively little town with an active fishing community. It has a ferry dock and big ferries full of day trippers blast over from Guadeloupe all day long. Pretty little houses, painted all colors and color combinations, line the streets and it's hard to say if the houses or the flowers in their gardens are more colorful.

We had Mahi envy watching this fisherman slice up his catch

More than a little run down - but charming still.
The fishing boats are brightly colored too
My favorite photo from the day - a break from all those bright colors
We wandered through the shops and, stopped at a cafe for a Pastis and a beer and wifi - the French islands have a lot of great things to offer, but wifi access is not one of them. 

Looks like we found a new laundry soap to use.
Still enjoying Pastis
 As always, the Caribbean sunsets leave us a little something at the end of each day....


Cindy B. said...

Madeline! Your photographs just keep getting better and better and you ALWAYS make me laugh. Love the pic of Skip and your new soap. A picture is worth a thousand words, as they say. So interesting to see you hike on different from the usual images of the tropics. And the fish! OMG...that first one was SO beautiful. This was/is a great post. Oooh my email just dinged....maybe it's you!

Roland Falkenstein said...

Love your blog and also am loving the articles that you and Skip are writing for the sailing magazines!

Anonymous said...

Great to see you in guadeloupe! It's so nice to see some beautiful pictures! / jo and Martin and à baby ;)

Linda said...

Loving the blog as alwlays girlfriend.
I have some friends from Florida sailing around the USVI's & BVI'S on the catamaran "No Drama"
Maybe you'll run into them. I'll tell them to look for you too.
She has the same motion issues I I'm curious to see how she is doing. She got the sea bands & is taking bonine.
xo Thelma

Miles said...

How do we see the articles you guys are writing for the magazines?

Madeline said...

Hi all.... sorry the blog is a bit behind, but thanks for sticking with us.

I'll post the articles in the next blog - glad to hear that people are seeing/reading/enjoying them!

Linda - We'll keep an eye out for No Drama (great boat name!)

And to Martin and Jo - OMG!! You're having a baby!!!! Congratulations!

Kim said...

Maddie - love your post as always. Your photos give us a real sence of being there. Your work is beautiful-both photos and writing. Give Skip a hug and kiss for me...and one of each for you, too...xoxoxox