Les Saintes

Lynn & Mike ..around the world
Mike Drinkrow & Lynn v/d Hoven
Mon 12 Jan 2009 22:45
15:52.02N 61:35.13W   Terre de Haut, Les Saintes
We spent the weekend anchored off this delightful island. Les Saintes is a group of four small islands off the south coast of Guadeloupe. They are famous for "The Battle of the Saints" one of the most famous naval battles of the 18th century. The French Admiral Grasse headed out from Martinique on his way to invade Jamaica, but was intercepted off these islands, by the British fleet under Admiral Rodney who came from St Lucia. Rodney famously broke the line of the French fleet in three places and thereby introduced a new tactic that was again used very successfully by Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar
Les Saintes are now famous for being a real tourist trap - but in the nicest possible way. The only town is Anse-de-Bourg - spotless with gorgeous red-roofed "gingerbread" houses, colourful shops and many small restaurants. There are very few cars but hundreds of scooters that can be hired for 20euro per day. We did not bother renting one, as the island is pretty small and we enjoyed walking from the one side to the other. We saw a few of their famous iguana's - including a "rescue" where Mike picked one up by the tail to get him over the fence he was trying to head-butt his way through.
One evening we had a wonderful Creole style dinner, Dorado with Mango and Chicken with Coconut - the sauces were so delicately prepared, that we could have been in a 5 star restaurant.  The food (restaurants & grocery) cannot be beaten in these French islands. Even the smallest stores have the most delicious selection of meats, cheeses, wines etc. And every morning, you see scores of people walking around with a fresh baguette under their arm ... so civilized!
As far as the boat goes we are still having problems with the port engine, and now our inverter has also packed up! Mike is tearing is hair (what little he has) out. For the non-technical, the inverter is the piece of machinery that gives us 220v power (plugs) for our computer, toaster, phone chargers etc. Running a boat is like running an island - we have to be totally self-sufficient, making water, making electricity, and keeping the whole thing running is a full time job. The sailing is the fun part!