St.Vincent, St.Lucia, Martinique, Dominica...Marie Galante & Guadeloupe.

Chelone's travels.....
John and Susie Blair.
Mon 3 Mar 2014 00:14
N15:57.83  W61:19.23

I think we were in St.Vincent the last time I wrote here? we've had some
lovely sailing since then and still in company with our American friends
Randy & Janet though they've sailed on ahead now as they're heading back to
the US. Their route takes them via St.Croix, Culebra, Vieques, Dominican
Republic and the Bahamas....I envy them and only wish we had more time,
Cuba would be on my list too but as American citizens they're forbidden to go
We called in at the Pitons of St.Lucia for an overnight stop then on to
Rodney Bay in the north with it's large marina and 'western world' shopping
mall etc. Here, we watched Wales thrash France at rugby.

Between Dominica and Guadeloupe is a small island seldom visited by cruisers
as it can be a difficult sail but we managed to make it there on one
tack......Marie Galante.

By the time Christopher Columbus discovered the island he'd run out of
saints to name her after so he named the island after one of his boats
instead! Unlike neighbouring islands, Marie Galante is as flat as a pancake,
we sailed along the clear and shallow waters off her western shores with
just a few feet under Chelone's keel. Once anchored, we chilled out with a
sundowner and watched the magnificent sunset with Iles Des Saintes to the
left and Guadeloupe right....

In the morning we went for a wander around the small town of Sainte Louis
before catching a local bus to the capital Grande Bourg where I would check
in with Customs. We did some sightseeing around the town though soon the
temperature soared so we took shelter in a typical French eaterie at the
edge of the harbour for some light refreshment and an internet fix. We
pondered about hiring a vehicle for a drive around the island but in the end
we didn't bother, I for one couldn't wait to get back to Sainte Louis for a
swim so we bought some French bread etc and caught the bus back in the
searing heat.
Just when I thought the snorkelling here was a tad boring I saw something
Under a rocky ledge in shallow water were dozens of small lobsters!! Shame I
didn't have the camera...
other ledges nearby were home for yet more. Though a little on the small
size they would've made a tasty meal for sure and I pictured myself basting
a dozen or so with garlic infused oil while they sizzled on the griddle. But the
last time I brought one back to Chelone Susie insisted it was returned to
the sea.... so it was their lucky day!

After another beautifully dramatic sunset we retired below to watch a movie
and mulled over the idea of a sail across to Pointe A Pitre in the morning.....
a twenty mile downwind sail.
So, we did just that! and once there we discovered it was near carnival time
for the locals and they were out on the streets practicing!
It was just awesome, plastered in molasses, the procession of people were
yelling an African warrior chant...drummers set the beat. I took
the following pics on my phone! I took some video too though when I played it
back it was so loud the reproduction was distorted!
I really like Pointe A Pitre, it's colourful and vibrant....very much like Bridgetown Barbados,
walking around town there's a good vibe, fishermen sell their catch at the
dockside and the local women sell the vegetables.
We stopped to speak to a fella, 'Harold' was his name, he was grinding raw
sugar cane out of the back of his car on the dock with an ancient looking
mechanism and offered us a cup of 'Jus de canne frais'....
We both tasted it, I was expecting intense sweetness but it wasn't so...hard
to explain really but quite refreshing anyhow.
On the first of March I hoisted a new Welsh flag, the one I pulled down having
the dragon's arse missing....maybe we'll pin that up in a bar somewhere!
So, with it being Sunday all was going to be quiet in town so we thought we'd
may as well get on the move and so weighed anchor once again and headed
round the south of Guadeloupe then up her western coast to Deshais.....
Blimey, how many times have I been here now? as a matter of fact....going
up and down this Caribbean island chain is so familiar to me, we often
meet couples who've been doing this for...well, more years than I fancy! no,
next season I'd opt for somewhere new....Cuba, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, we'll
Next stop....Antigua.
Bye for now, John & Susie.