So Guadeloupe is on strike. Thanks for the
info Marion. It's official, even whale watching is cancelled due to
lack of fuel!
We spent considerable time in Deshaies walking up
and down the hill to the Customs office to no avail. A friendly little
town with the French cafe style superimposed on Island life. Our wifi
'supplier' was off the air or however it goes so no great
help getting all excited about that.
At a loss, and at the weekend so no customs
open, we decided to move down the coast to Pigeon Island home of the
Cousteau Marine Park. The water was crystal clear in the anchorage off the
mainland so a short reci along the beach (more like through the car park
actually) gave us an impression of how the park is set up and when dive boats
were back and forth. Booked on the 10am dive with Les Heures Saines we
rescued the dingy from a very busy dock and back to Winny.
Signing in in the morning it seemed there were
3 divers and 1 snorkeller booked so with 2 dive masters/instructors on
board Alyson had a leisurely 63 min buddy dive/guided tour. The water was
clear and the fish were unafraid and big, the pace was so leisurely we were
overtaken by a French Angel fish the size of a pizza for 4. A group
of Atlantic spade fish swam in front of another dive group coming
towards us so got a good view of them, I sure hope the camera does the place
justice the colours were fantastic, bright orange corals with groups of
blue, black and yellow Creole Wrasse in front. Vents in the sea floor
where hot water came through were a pleasant surprise. Max depth of the
dive was 25' but only a few more meters away from the island its 150+' between
the island and the beach it goes down to 135'. Considering how many
people a day swim and dive at the sites they are in very good condition lets
hope they can keep them that way. Dive buddy recommended a dive shop here
in the saints so may go with them but looked very busy today, spoilt
Still in pursuit of a customs official we spent the
afternoon sailing in fluky winds down to Basse Terre, a much larger town
and nowhere near as inviting, a night spent in a rolley anchorage just outside
the marina convinced us not to bother and sail straight for Les Isles Des
As usual the GPS told us it was 9 miles and we
managed to do 12 getting here. There are alot of boats anchored here and
one a particularly laden 47' catamaran is sitting right over our anchor.
They assure us if we need to move then they will go first but if they drag
anchor goodness knows what. That has put us off going ashore to eat, so
rissotto on board tonight. Suffice to say no Gendarmes at the town hall to
clear us through customs this afternoon, the girls in the tourist office
couldn't believe it so they phoned the office, no reply. Tomorrow we will
go early to try again, then coffee in town and hire a mountain bike to explore
the island. A little like vietnam here most folks are moving around on
scooters, however haven't seen wardrobes, ducks or pigs being carried...
Sorry no pics this time we have a 'card error'
asking to be formatted, but that means loosing all photos we didn't download
already. That maybe what happens, anyone with any ideas please.
Anchor watch again, all for now, bye.