Saturday 17th May
So, having left the angry shouting behind us, we
headed off down the north coast rather than going all the way round the
south of Montserrat. As we motor sailed
along the coast we could see the old airport which had been partly covered by
lava and had been abandoned. We can also see Antigua away to the north and
still just see Nevis behind us. We can
sail a direct course towards Deshaies our destination on Guadeloupe
some 42 miles away.
Lava & Ash
green hills and lava flows. Quite a contrast!
Top of the volcano, Gallway’s Soufriere
It’s a great sail and as we approach Guadeloupe, the wind begins to allow us to ease the
sheets a bit and we are making good time. We have the fishing rod out but
the fish know better and stay away.
As we get closer to the bay of Deshaies
(pronounced Day Hay) the wind suddenly swings round 90 degrees and is coming
from the west! We can still sail the course and make directly into the
bay dropping the anchor at 16.45.
A gray day arriving in
Very happy skipper now the sun has come out!!
The wind in the bay is quite flukey and we re-anchor
so as not to be too close to a couple of other boats. We can already see
two boats who have swung into each other. We pick a nice clear spot but
then a large Dutch boat comes and drops their anchor almost on our stern.
Why DO they do that? We start the generator on the sugar scoop and they
decide to move away. Serves them right!
We will stay here until Monday as customs are closed
on Sunday and we need to clear in before we move on down the coast.
Monday 19th May
Deshaies is a pleasant enough place but there is no
beach and the town is quite small. There are quite a few nice restaurants
and we ate in one of them with the waves coming right up to the edge of the
We walk up the hill to the customs office and fill in
the necessary paperwork which is minimal as Guadeloupe
is French and therefore part of the EU. Bought some petrol for the
generator , did a quick shop in the supermarket and then went back to the
boat. We are only going 9 miles down the coast to Pigeon Island
so there is no great hurry. We depart at 13.15 just as a rain squall sweeps
down from the hills and blots out the bay. We think we have escaped but
the next one gives us a good soaking. We drop anchor in the bay which is
part of the Jacques
Park but the water is not that clear and the
beach is dark sand with a road right behind it so we don’t bother going
at Pigeon Island
cloud even looks like a pigeon (-ish)
Tuesday 20th May
We are getting low on water now and there is a marina
shown in the pilot book just a few miles down the coast beyond Basse-Terre. The
pilot book warns us that it was badly hit by a hurricane and the entrance is
now difficult as some of the boulders from the outer wall were washed into the
main channel. We decide to anchor off the marina called Marina De Riviere
Sens and nip ashore in the dinghy. I’m glad we did because we find
the marina a very depressing place (filthy scummy water and a bit smelly) and
indeed the entrance is filled with rocks. We decide we will wait until we
get to the Saints to fill our water tanks and quickly return to the boat.
The marina looks quite nice from a
In the evening most of the townspeople seem to come
out either to ride bicycles, swim off the beach or go running along the sea
front. Never seen anything quite like it and they are still running,
cycling and swimming well after it gets dark. Must be something to do
with being French?! Perhaps they are all in training for the Tour De
France. It’s a rolly old anchorage and it rains on and off all
night. We really should have incorporated some sort of rain catching
device in our bimini design and then we would have plenty of water. Oh
well, buckets will have to do for now.