Guadeloupe

Guadeloupe
(posted from Dominica, May 9)

April 24. We left Saba and headed for Guadeloupe.  This would take us directly past St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat.  We would also bypass Antigua and Barbuda, both farther east.  Jackie and I have vacationed on all of these islands in the past except for Montserrat.  Hopefully we will visit them by boat sometime later.

We left early in the afternoon so we would arrive in Guadeloupe after sunrise the next day.  The trip went well in that we had good weather, calm seas, and some wind to sail at least part of the way.  We found the wind to change as we passed islands.  The most interesting was when we went by the south end of Montserrat.  There is an active volcano on the island. 

Montserrat volcano

We could smell it as we went by and as the sun came up we could see that mixed in with the white fluffy clouds over the island, there were black clouds coming from the volcano.  The hot air rising created a local “sea breeze” by pulling the air in from the ocean.  We were west of the island, so we experienced a westerly breeze in this area rather than the typical easterly trade wind.

Sunrise, just south of Monserrat

 

We arrived in Dahais, Guadeloupe late in the morning as planned.  The bay is open to the west with the town situated at the east end.  The bay is deep so you have to get close to the beach to find reasonably shallow water.  Luckily, as we were approaching another boat raised anchor and left. 

Anchoring close in, Dahais Bay

We anchored in the space they vacated just off the town.  While we were there other boats came in and anchored near us to take advantage of the shallow water. 

One boat ended up quite close.  The wind shifted and we swung around so they were much closer.  They pulled up their anchor and moved.

Some people like to anchor close

The town is small.  It has a main street and a couple side streets that more or less parallel the main street.  There are quite a few restaurants along the waterfront.  We were hoping they would hold up a menu so we could see what they had to offer, but no such luck.  One of the nice surprises was that late in the day a fellow would come by and take your order for baked goods.  He offered plain and chocolate croissonts, and bagettes.  The next morning he would drop off your order in time for breakfast.

We spent a day at the local botanical garden.  What we didn’t know is that it was on top of a hill and it was a hot, sunny morning.  The gardens were very nice and we had great views of the harbor on the way up and down.

Dahais botanical garden

 

Dahais Bay viewed from road to botanical gardens

Mark and Michelle had sailed with us to Dahais, but we stayed there when they left for their next port.  We didn’t know where they were going next, but figured our paths would cross again.

We visited the tourist office and while we were their we met a cruiser from another boat (Lala).  He found out that bus service was available to the Pointe a Pitre, the capitol city, for only a few dollars.  He and his family were going early the next day.  We went, too, but on a later bus.  The ride gave us a chance to see much of the island.  We arrived in Pointe a Pitre and walked into the downtown area.  The buildings are old and of a mixed architecture.  We were waking through the fish market on the waterfront and who should we see but Mark and Michelle looking for a place to tie up their dinghy.  We hailed them and just as we started to talk to them the family on Lala walked up behind us.  The dock was too rough to tie up their dinghy, so they went off looking for a better spot and we lost track of them.  We didn’t see Mark and Michelle again, but we kept bumping into the Lala folks and by chance even went back on the same bus with them.

The Saints

We left Dahais mid-morning April 30 and began sailing for The saints – a group of islands just south of Guadeloupe.  We expected to arrive late afternoon.  We started with a nice northeast wind.  It died a bit later and then filled in from the west – a direction not expected in any forecast.  It must have been a sea breeze created by warm air rising over the island.  The west wind died as we neared the southern tip of the island, then with the island no longer protecting us, the trade winds filled from the east.  Along with them came some wind driven waves and chop.  The last couple hours into the saints saw us pounding into the wind and waves and using the motor to help us punch through.

We anchored in deep water off the main town, Bourg de Saints.  The good news is that there was a croissant delivery man.  The bad news is that although the harbor is well protected, a small swell came between the islands and into the anchorage.  It was just the right motion to cause the boats to rock back and forth.  This gets really annoying.

The next morning we moved to a small anchorage off neighboring Ilet A Cabrit.  Although it didn’t appear very protected, it was almost always without the swell so it was much more comfortable most of the time.  The exception was that we would get waked when a ferry went by.

Anchored at Ilet A Cabrit

We spent a couple days there, but didn’t do much except snorkle and dinghy into town.  We did make some friends in the anchorage.  They are John and Ann on Moonlight.  Their cruise started in England.  They crossed the Atlantic, landed in the Windward Islands and have been working their way up and down the islands.

Next: Dominica

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2 Responses to “Guadeloupe”

  1. Mom Says:

    Great pictures.

  2. Fred and Anne Hallett Says:

    We were delighted to hear from you, Little Rosie, and tell Eric and Jackie to stay in touch. I trust you have been a good girl, behaved yourself and not told too many tales about your time with us! And thanks for the update from Grenada. We wish you a totally hurricane free season…good odds for that in Grenada. Anne and Fred

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