Marie Galante

Mor Toad / Moy Toad
David and Jocelyn Fawcett
Tue 3 Mar 2015 23:35
We set off from the marina at 9.15 Monday morning. An interesting manoeuvre getting out in reverse from the tight spot we'd been in. Most boats go stern in but we have to go in forwards and climb over the bow to get onto the pontoon. However all good and we put the mainsail up and motored out into what turned out to be a big sea 20-25 knots of wind and a very wet crossing to here with waves coming over and all getting soaked.

We arrived here with relief after about 4 hours very very wet and unfortunately water inside the boat too though we are not sure where it came from. We anchored in a bay at St Louis on the NW corner of this island named Marie Galante by Columbus after one of his ships. Apparently he'd ran out of saints names.

For the first time this trip we have had low cloud and a lot of rain and it's been very hazy. After we arrived In between the rain showers we walked along the beaches here and round the small town to explore. We ate on board last night as too wet to go ashore and were in bed very very early. Torrential rain overnight. Today we decided to hire a car and explore the island.

It's much lower lying (600') than many of the islands we have visited over the past few months made from coral as is the eastern part of mainland Guadeloupe. Some lovely beaches not seen at their best as the weather has been wet again today but the island is covered in derelict windmills (used to be a 100) which were used to power the machinery to crush the sugar cane in the 19th century We did see a couple that have been restored. We've seen lots of fields of sugar cane (it's still an important part of the islands economy) and visited a couple of distilleries so it has been an interesting day. They now have a wind farm on the east of the island which supplies electricity for the island. Again due to small scale maps we have also been lost several times but all part of the experience. Lots of cows/bullocks tethered on patches of rough ground and they are still used for pulling carts when the sugar cane is cut. Apparently they have oxen 'tug of war' competitions at weekends. One place we visited there were the remains of a sugar cane factory and windmill and the restored mansion house of the original plantation which is now a museum but sadly wasn't open. This plantation used to have 200 slaves working on it in the 19th century.

An interesting day out finishing with an excellent coconut ice cream being sold from a little Renault van at the start of the jetty where we leave the dinghy and where the ferry goes from. At last it does look as if the weather might be drying up and this evening we can now see our next destination the islands of Les Saintes about a 3 hour sail away.

15:57.33N 61:19.28W