French Islands



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Having left St.Lucia we sailed to Martinique to stock up on provisions. They are usually cheaper here and have european prices, since the French Islands are controlled by France and thus subsidised. We  happened to share the anchorage with "Hurra", a Norwegian boat with three little girls onboard. The children spent the entire afternoon in the park, playing with toys, climbing trees and running around. Trond managed to order and onload drinks and water,and by sunset we were ready to set sail again. We had a brisk sail overnight to Illes des Saintes, with 30 knots blowing straight through the guadeloupe channel. We arrived early in the morning in the town of Bourg des Saintes, which is the only town in this little group of islands.


The Saintes have been French since shortly after they were colonized and support a community which mostly rely on fishing. They have strong links to the north of France,especially Brittany and one can see beautiful Breton style fishing boats on the waterfront. Fort Napoleon , built 1867,stands on a hill overlooking the harbour and it is now a museum.  We took a walk to Baia de Pompierrre which is on the windward side of Terre Dèn Haut. It is a long beach shaded by palm trees and frequented by tourists . Camilla and Colin managed to find all sorts of material from the palms and made a copy of "CoCoNuT"!


We moved the boat for the night to Pain de sucre, another anchorage ,as the ferries coming to and from Guadeloupe made such a wake that we were rolling like crazy. The water was crystal clear and we swam from the boat and enjoyed the peace and quiet.


The next island to stop at was Guadeloupe, which is a large island and very mountainous. As you sail along the coast the wind gusts down the slopes and allows for some fantastic sailing on flat water. Here we stopped in a little bay called Deshaies,at the north end of the island, and after clearing in at customs set off up the steep hill to the botanical garden.The gardens were really beautiful and they had an amazing collection of orchids and tropical plants.  The climate and rainfall mean that just about everything grows here.


There were also parrots of different sorts flying around and some small parakeets you could feed fruit juice . They were very tame and sat on the childrens hands. Tiny hummingbirds fed from the flowers and Camilla has become quite fascinated by them. She has decided to do a school project on birds and started drawing pictures of them as soon as she got back to the boat .


We all enjoyed being surrounded by greenery for a change, as we have seen a lot of water lately!


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This site was last updated 24-12-2005 20:28:51