16 18 500N 61 47 800W
We had two great days on Montserrat and thoroughly enjoyed this unique island, I would recommend this as a definite ‘must see’ if you are coming to the Caribbean. They have a daily ferry service from Antigua into Little Bay, although there were usually more crew than passengers when we saw it.
Early yesterday we set sail again not long after sunrise, and after punching into a sea around the north tip of Montserrat we put in a tack and headed south east again to Guadeloupe. Just before we tacked we were treated to a sighting of whales off the tip of Montserrat heading south down the east coast. A fantastic sail with a kind wind that did what it was supposed to do for a change, a north easterly 15 knots which was perfect for our sail to Deshaies on the north west side of Guadeloupe. We arrived at 3.30pm sailing right up to the entrance of the bay before the wind went full circle and came from the south west, we were waiting for this to happen as we could see all the boats in the anchorage facing the opposite way to where our wind was coming from at sea.
A swim to cool us off was in order, it is now very hot here as their summer is approaching. It now makes sense that the Caribbean people feel the cold in December and quite a few people wear woolly hats – in 25 degrees c! It’s now in the 30’s during the day and only drops a few degrees at night to late 20’s. Brrrrrrrrr.
During happy hour on Pannikin, a pod of dolphins entered the anchorage, had a swim about surfacing a few times, then headed back out to sea.
This morning we ‘bobbed’ down the west coast of Guadeloupe to a bay close to Pigeon Island which is part of the Cousteau National Underwater Park, the wind is very light to non-existent today and so even hotter. There is swell entering this bay unfortunately but now that we have endured Montserrat we feel that we are masters of balancing techniques so bring it on! We snorkelled off the boat to the rocky coastline and despite poor visibility we were rewarded with some incredible coral and fish life, and when a turtle swam underneath us in about 2 metres of water that made our day. Two spotted moray eels also made an appearance, the second just peeked his head out from under a rock with his mouth open. Swimming back to the boat we saw a huge turtle munching on the sea grass, the biggest we have seen so far. Small jelly fish are also now about, they are very small, cylindrical and transparent with a red dot in the body and a long tentacle. Jez got a sting from one as he got back to Joy giving him a rash like a stinging nettle.
Tomorrow we will take the dinghy over to Pigeon Island about half a mile away from the anchorage and have a snorkel, it is supposed to be a top dive site so we are looking forward to it.
Here are some more pictures of Montserrat, this is the west coast taken from the boat. By the way, we have sailed 9,300 miles since leaving Dover just over a year ago and visited 32 different countries/islands (some of them twice!).
The volcano is still smoking.