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Date: 01 Mar 2011 00:50:00
Title: Few days in Les Saintes

We've spent the past few days holed up in the anchorate at Ilet Cabrit - it's been nice and protected here but the wind has been howling between the islands and the sea has been pretty choppy so we decided to stay a few days til it calmed down.  Not much fun trying to anchor here but once you have got it sorted then it's fine - the only way to anchor is to drop the anchor in then reverse toward the beach which is a bit scary, you have to tie a line from the back of the boat to a tree on land.  the reason is that we're in the wind shadow of the island but the wind sneaks around each side so anchored boats just end up floating about in all directions - we ended up so close to another boat we could nearlly pass them drinks which was a bit embarassing hence the need for long bits of rope and suitable trees.  Since we got here we have helped a few other boats with their lines since like us, not many people are really used to doing this.
 
Got across the bay to Terre de Haut which is the main island with the town on it - went in the dingy which was quite errmmm fun in the chop but Adam is getting to be master of the waves so we didn't get too wet.  The main town is tiny but sweet - really just a few restaurants and craft shops and things.  We walked to Fort Napoleon on the top of one of the hills hoping to see some iguana's as they live on the islands - I had given up thinking they were just mythical and invented by the tourist board - but we found 3 sat in the greenery at the fort, they're not really fussed by people and just sit there so you can get a couple of feet from them.  I also found a snake skin which I waved at Adam who wasn't impressed - we didn't see any actual snakes though.
 
Had a couple of lazy-ish days - I spent most of a morning diving in the bay we are anchored in and trying to take photo's of the mega fish shoal - never seen this so close to shore before, i think I mentioned it before.  I thought at first there was a big patch of week under the boat as instead of the white sand the water was  dark - but then realised the dark patch moved, the shoal of fish is enormous - usually about 15 metres long and 8 wide which thousands of little herring like fish - if you swim straight down into the middle of it the fish form a circle around you so you're just in a solid wall of fish.  I will try and put some pics up when I have internet but they're never as spectacular as you hope for.  The fish ball spends a lot of time around our boat so the pelicans have been sploshing into the water about a metre from the boat.
 
It's been nice here - we've met quite a few people, mainly through helping take lines ashore from boats with the tender.  We were treated to rum punches on a boat with a guy called Derek the other night who adam helped out and also met an american couple there who were very kind and have supplied us with home made blue cheese pate and cakes - all the americans we have met seem very good at bringing food whenever they are invited anywhere - we need to stock up on our 'nibbles' supplies. 
 
Last night we were invited over for the evening to the boat of a british couple (laura and jon) who came across on the Arc - where we met another couple of americans as well from another boat who have been sailing for 12 years and had some great stories to tell - including journeys around Cape horn and  some painful tales involving cactus's that fire spines, very thin shorts and home surgery. . . .  so we've had a couple of really good evenings with some good company, but the wind is due to calm down again tomorrow so we'll head out for Guadeloupe.

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