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Show MapGuadeloupe - Feb/Mar 2004

 

The Saintes.

 

From Dominica it was an easy day's sail to the Saintes, a small island group just south of Guadeloupe. They are very pretty and very touristy but we enjoyed a couple of days there, being tourists, eating ice cream and so on...

Next we headed for Guadeloupe and anchored off the main town of Pointe a Pitre. Here we met up with Foss and Erik on Alga. Foss lives near Banff in Scotland and plays the concertina so we got to play music together for the next week or so. Erik left Australia on Alga about fifteen years ago and currently they do skippered charters in the caribbean (www.sailalga.net).

 

Foss and Erik on Alga.

How to empty an anchorage.

 

Ours wasn't the only music around because it was carnival time. Guadeloupe's carnival bands are percussion-based and loud! We saw two parades, one on Sunday and the main Mardi Gras parade on the Tuesday. Both were fun and tiring enough just watching - the participants dance through the streets for 4 hours in full costume!

 

 

CARNIVAL!

After three days of noise and crowds, we felt like a rest, so we hired a car and Erik and Foss showed us some of the sights. This included a hike up La Soufriere, Guadeloupe's fairly inactive volcano. It was covered in cloud as it is most days and we heard the hot gas fumeroles before we saw them - we smelt them before we saw them too! The noise was like a jet aircraft and the smell was just like rotten eggs.

Hot gas vents on top of Soufriere.

Windy and wet - just like home!

Cascade Aux Crevasses.

 

We also walked through the rainforest - plenty of water around! A nice change from crowds and noise.

After Foss and Erik left with a charter, we spent another few days sailing around the south and west coasts of Guadeloupe. We had originally intended to go through the Riviere Salee, the mangrove channel in the middle of Guadeloupe but the swing bridge across the channel was broken, so we took the long way round by sea. We waited in Deshaies, a small bay on the northwest coast, for two days until the wind came round to a favourable direction for Antigua, our next island. We spent the time snorkelling with tropical fish, walking, relaxing and eating some great smokey bread baked in an old-fashioned wood-fired oven. Then on 9th March, with an easterly breeze, we broad-reached to Antigua, forty miles north.

Click the wee picture to see a film clip of us sailing round Guadeloupe:

 

 



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