Grand Bourg, Folle Anse & St Louis in Marie Galante

Imagine Of Falmouth Online Log
Jon Constantine
Thu 28 May 2009 14:20
Thurs 28th May 09 to Sun 31st May 09

Still a bit of south in the wind so it'll be a beat to Marie Galante.  It was a bit cloudy when we headed off with winds gusting 20 knots plus but the sun came out later and the winds settled to a comfortable 18 knots.  We thought we'd have to put a few tacks in but it turned out we'd put the wrong waypoint into the chart plotter.  Doh!  Once we'd made the correction we were bang on course and 5 hours later at 15.30 we'd dropped anchor on a nice sandy bottom in about 5 metres.  It's a bit of a tricky entrance as it's surrounded by reefs but we stayed well within the marker buoys and kept a keen eye on the depth sounder until we were happy with our chosen spot.  There was just one other boat, a catamaran here. 

                                     On arrival we were visited by these cheeky chaps.  Very sweet but they do leave such a mess on the deck!!!

We later heard some loud music coming from ashore so we went off to explore.  There was a huge marquee and stage set up with lots of little market stalls all around, but the music had stopped and the stalls looked closed.  They must have been just practising, maybe getting everything ready for the weekend, so we found the nearest bar for a couple of beers.  On our way back to the dinghy we stopped at one of the many food vans barbecuing on the sea front, for dinner.  Very 'rustic'! The food wasn't bad although a little pricey.  The Euro really is bad for us at the moment.  Almost one for one with the Pound.

The next morning we went ashore again, this time to do some provisioning and to find the customs office.  We need to clear out as we'll be making our way to St Lucia via Dominica and Martinique in a few days.  We eventually found the office but it was closed until later so went for the long walk to the supermarket and the boulangerie.  It was a lovely walk, if a little hot, with some really beautiful houses around.  We got back to town just as the rains came belting down.  We took cover until it stopped and then returned to the customs office which was now open before heading back to the boat.  We're going to come ashore again tonite for the party.

It was a fun night.  We had drinks at one of the food vans owned by 'Sister May', the singing bar lady.  She was a real character.  Her English wasn't too hot and our French just as bad but we still had a good laugh with her.  Too attract customers she'd stick on one of her own Soca CDs and sing along Karaoke style.  Brilliant.  When we left we'd somehow been persuaded to buy one of her CDs!  It was all a little lost in translation on how that happened!  We later headed over to the marquee where the band was hotting up but didn't stay too long as we'd decided to eat on board tonight.  We could still hear the music perfectly well from the boat though and it wasn't until about 3am that it finally went quiet....



Late the next morning we headed off along the coast and anchored, quite a long way from shore due to the shoals, between Anse Ballet and Folle Anse.  We weren't really up for another noisy night.  Totally secluded here and very peaceful.  We made sure we were well up wind from the Sucrerie as we could see clouds of brown smoke pumping into the sky as we sailed by.  Initially there was a lovely sweet smell but it soon became quite unpleasant!  The holding wasn't brilliant as the bottom was only a thin layer of sand on top of rock and dead coral.  I snorkelled the fortress anchor out too, and placed it in the deepest bit of sand I could find just to be on the safe side.  As long as there wasn't a blow, which was very unlikely, we'd be fine with the weight of the chain and main anchor plus the partially dug in fortress.  Even if we did drag we'd hear the anchors scraping along the rocks no problem plus we'd only end up out to sea!!!


Sunday morning and we're on the move again, this time to St Louis, our 3rd and final stop in Marie Galante.  The main anchor came up very easily as it obviously didn't dig in at all and there hadn't been a breath of wind in the night for it to plough it's way in.  The fortress was actually more difficult to retrieve as it had managed to dig it's way quite deeply into the sand.  We motored the short distance to St Louis, a beautiful and uncrowded bay.  We went ashore to explore the quaint little town although all the shops were closed being a Sunday, and found a lovely little restaurant, on our stroll along the beach, for lunch.  Perfect.




                                                                               The boat boys here know how to travel in style!