Island hopping 5. Northern islands

Fri 16 Feb 2007 15:04
Les Saints is a group of very small islands to the south of Guadeloupe, French speaking. The small town of Anse du Bourg on the main island is  clean, tidy, typically French. We hired scooters to explore the hinterland which took no more than a couple of hours going slow. Hordes of tourists arrive on huge catamaran ferries from the island of Guadeloupe which sprawls across the near horizon. The town changes from sleepy to bustling in the time it takes the visitors to disgorge from the twin hulled monsters. Many of them also hire scooters to get around. The town is dominated by a Napoleonic fort on the hill overlooking. Very well preserved as a museum, it is a great visual reminder of how things were around 1650, Admiral Rodney and the English fleet played a large part in the history of the area in their tussles with the French. We swam, did  a bit of boat maintenance  and just lazed around in the warm sun. Great.
Bad weather has blown in making putting our plan for Guadeloupe on hold. Moved around to another little bay where the snorkelling was supposed to be a bit special, not so as it turned out but ok enough. Spent a couple of nights at anchor then set off in a very strong wind for the 20 miler up to the eastern end of Guadeloupe, only to be frustrated by problems with the foresail furling gear forcing us to return to our original anchorage of four days ago. Winched the skipper up the mast with the help of some Americans off the boat moored next  but unable to make repairs. Plan now is to have the work done under the warranty by the agents in Guadeloupe where we plan to motorsail tomorrow, (Tuesday 6th Feb).  Delay in planned work has prompted me to jump ship so have taken a flight back to St Lucia to catch up with other arrangements. Had a very interesting time up there and learned a lot about other anchorages which will be very useful in the future. In a bit of limbo for a while but catching up with the ongoing maintenance on Thisbe, nice to be back in some ways as I have been concerned for her well-being. I have now booked her into the yard for storage during the hurricane season and plan to sail back to the UK on a big Falmouth boat which also took part in the ARC. Plan is to return to island hopping round Christmas.