Deshaies Guadeloupe

Mor Toad / Moy Toad
David and Jocelyn Fawcett
Fri 20 Mar 2015 14:16
16:18.45N 61:47.88W

We are now back here anchored in the bay waiting for Alex and co. to return tomorrow Saturday from the other side of Guadeloupe near St Anne's where they have been staying in beach cottage and from all accounts enjoying themselves. We then hope to sail for Antigua Sunday.

David and I have spent 3 days anchored in the bay near Pigeon Island and have done a lot of snorkelling - myriads of fish who really do need to have name tags as they don't match the book when you come back ashore to check out what you've seen! We've or rather I have also spent a lot of time watching turtles feeding on the bottom, swimming gracefully to the surface where they take 4-5 breathes and then swimming back down to the bottom and carry on feeding. One large turtle even had several fish lying on his back as he slowly moved along the bottom. The largest fish we've seen are Barracuda which really could be mistaken for small sharks.

One afternoon we did a dive - our first for about 3-4 years or rather for me as David sometimes dives back at home to check the boat. We went out with a group on a very pink boat with pink dive bottles and we were fortunate to get a dive instructor who spoke good English and was happy to do a refresher dive for me though she did say when we got to the surface I didn't really need it which was pleasing. We were taken to a place still within the reserve but not on Pigeon Island itself and it was most probably one of the prettiest dives we've ever done with a lot of beautiful fan corals and sponges all different colours and other coral. Again a lot of fish some of which we hadn't seen before snorkelling and we saw an eel, lobster and small shrimp and I am sure there were other things too but lost in translation. Guadeloupe has certainly been testing our spoken French and comprehension! Sadly it wasn't the sunniest of days which does make a difference when snorkelling or diving and the water was a little cloudy and we got surprisingly chilly. I thought it was just me but in fact the whole boat were shivering on the way back and no sun to warm us up ' Malheureusment' ! Having said that brilliant and hopefully we shall get another dive further north.

The reserve down there is called the Jacques Cousteau Marine Park (apparently here in 1959 he and his team performed diving tests for the diving saucer one of the first underwater exploration vehicles 3m by 1.46 high and 2 grew had to lie on their stomachs descending 400m). They also dived a great deal round the island at the same time from the boat Calypso and in 1974 he expressed a wish that the area should be classified as a reserve. Over the years fishing has been regulated and now there are buoys for the dive boats and for a few yachts. We used one when we were there previously. In 1998 a bronze sculpture was created and this was placed on the sea bed in an area called 'The Coral Garden.' www. We did manage to find it snorkelling but it was in 12m of water so not that easy to see. Legend :-)

So now back to sorting the boat, revictualling and preparing for the rest of the crew to return and to continue with the rest of the adventure. Time is moving on fast and there is still a lot to see and do in the 6 weeks left. Where has the time gone to?