I have to say that I was reluctant to leave Dominica. It’s my favorite Eastern Caribbean Island. Coincidentally, I am starting to write this blog post about The Saints and Guadeloupe, the first two places we went after leaving Dominica, heading north, while we’re moored, once again, in Prince Rupert Bay, Dominica after having been in Guadeloupe and The Saints once again as we are heading south after traveling as far north as we wanted to for this sailing season! Is that confusing?
Oh well, I just thought that was a fun fact!
First, we sailed to The Saints, which are made up of a few tiny little islands. The Saints are actually part of Guadeloupe, which is a department (like a state) of France.
I’d have to say that Iles Des Saintes (The Saints) are some of the most photogenic islands that we’ve seen. Like every island, except one, we’ve been to this year, our visit to both The Saints and Guadeloupe are return visits.
We enjoyed spending more, yet varied, amounts of time with the crew of s/v Cinderella, Cindy, Raleigh and Marco, the captain of s/v SeaFrog, Kendra, and Pete and Kathy of s/v Delphinus.
Our first few nights were spent at a mooring off of Terre d’en Haut, the largest island of The Saints.
My first order of business after getting checked in to the country and getting some laundry done was to make an appointment to get my hair cut at this cute little salon. Its architecture is typical of the little village, Bourg des Saintes. It was actually behind the house that fronted the street where the sign was. The lady sitting in her kitchen having coffee and reading the paper seemed unfazed by us popping our head in her open door. She led us back to the right place. Communication is always a challenge in France, but we get by even in a situation as “communication critical” as getting my hair done!
Mark and my friends gave me their approval when I met them that evening after my appointment at a restaurant where they were having drinks while waiting for the pizza place to open!
One day, we enjoyed a walk with Kendra up to Fort Napoleon on Terre d’en Haut.
The views alone were worth the walk up!
The fort is beautifully restored,
and contains a great museum with room after room filled with all kinds of things related to The Saints and Napoleon.
Although there are many cute little boutiques in Bourg des Saintes, on Terre d’en Haut, the places we frequented the most were the little deli that sells really good baguettes and the gelato place where we went many times. Oh, and we really liked Le Mambo, the restaurant where we enjoyed pizza even though it doesn’t serve that particular menu item until 7:00pm!
Bourg des Saintes is worth a visit just to walk the streets of this quaint little bustling-with-tourists-on-foot-and-scooter town. The ferry brings them over from Guadeloupe daily, and then there are the sailboat tourists like us.
We decided along with SeaFrog to switch from our mooring off the town at Terre d’en Haut to one off the tiny, uninhabited island of Ilet a Cabrit (pictured in the background of this picture I took from Fort Napoleon. This has become our favorite place to take a mooring in The Saints! It’s peaceful, and we could just jump off the boat to go for a snorkel!
If we wanted to go to town, it wasn’t a bad dinghy ride!
We hiked up to Fort Josephine, which unlike her husband’s namesake, hasn’t been restored.
Looking back towards Terre d’en Haut
Guadeloupe in the distance
The views from our hike on Ilet a Cabrit were just as beautiful as from Terre d’en Haut, but we all enjoyed the snorkeling around Ilet a Cabrit more than off of Terre d’en Haut…
There were lots of different kinds of “sea puppies”, I mean Sea Cucumbers.
Sponges (the holes are the tell that these are sponge-not coral)
Flamingo Tongue, busy doing harm to this Sea Fan
Fire Worm, also destructive to the coral…it takes all kinds, I guess.
Beautifully colored Star Coral!
Okay, I guess we saw some neat stuff when we took our dinghy over from Ilet a Cabrit back over to Terre d’en Haut (Pain du Sucre)…
Snake Eel and some kind of Parrotfish, I think?
Red Sponge among the Finger Coral
Sponge (see the holes?) These are a couple of my favorite pics!
You can really see the destructive path this Flamingo Tongue left behind.
Coming up for air!
Next stop on the way north—Guadeloupe
We travelled with Kendra to Guadeloupe.
We anchored at the bay across from Pigeon Island (Malendure), dinghied over to Pigeon Island (part of the Jacques Cousteau Reserve), snorkeled…
I pointed out the bust of Jacques Cousteau to Kendra. It’s kind of hard to find since it’s smallish and pretty deep (about 40 feet). She took a picture of me diving to get…
this picture! Part of his arm has come off. He used to be giving the OK sign with his right hand.
Black Durgon (a type of Triggerfish)
Typical seascape of the area off of Pigeon Island
Flounder (The only sighting I was really excited about on this snorkeling trip)
A better picture of a Honeycomb Cowfish than the one I took at The Saints
After getting our fill of what Pigeon Island had to offer, we came back to our anchorage,
and snorkeled around the point, as we swam back to our boats, we discovered that our chain was wrapped around the anchor.
I dove down and tried to unwrap the chain, but it wouldn’t budge. We re-anchored (causing some cosmetic damage to our teak toe rail in the process), dinghied over to a fishing boat harbor and grocery shopped, ate dinner back on Nancy Lu, went to bed, woke up early and sailed the short distance north to the bay off the town of Deshaies along with SeaFrog, anchored and spent all of that rainy day on Nancy Lu, made plans to go to the famed botanical gardens the next day with Kendra and Mike and Cynthia on s/v Minx whom we found when we entered the bay. We followed through with our plans the next SUNNY day, and I got a FEW good pictures:
Kendra wanted to make sure we found the restaurant before any of us got hangry!
These little guys made sure that the dessert left behind at the table next to us didn’t go to waste!
Sorry birds; there was nothing left for them when I left!
We had a wonderful, laughter-filled time at the botanical gardens! And that was pretty much it for Guadeloupe for now! We left for Antiqua the next morning.