FRENCH FANCIES (20 Feb – 2 Mar 16)

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As you can all see the date today is 1st May and the blog is about 2 months behind, we really find it hard to find the time to write and its not as fun writing about stuff that happened months ago, so here a quick summary to at least get us up to speed a bit more.

20 Feb – 2 Mar 2016 / Martinique & Guadeloupe

After all the boat repairs in Martinique, we made our way up the West coast stopping at a few over night anchorages on the way. These were all pretty small little villages and as we didn’t stay long there wasn’t much time to explore much. Our final stop was St Pierre, which is over looked by a huge volcano that had once consumed the entire village and as well as all the ships in the bay. There were at least 17 wrecks in and around the anchorage so that just shows the power that mothernature posses.

Saint-Pierre

We left here on a warm evening and watched the sunset as we prepared for a night sail on to Guadeloupe another island owned by the French. We had enjoyed the last 10 days here in Martinique with good reasonably priced supermarkets, lots of nice pastries and lush warm baguettes for only 1 Euro.

It was a wonderful sail and between the islands there was moderate breeze allowing us to make a good 5-6 knots. Simon did the first shift and I relived him at 2am when we were passing Dominica. Dominica is another island once owned by the British and we had decided to skip it now as we couldn’t be bothered with the hassle of the dog import stuff and wanted to get to Guadeloupe to see our friends Jacqui and Freddie on Shavora, who we hadn’t seen since Las Palmas.

Feeling confident and not very tired I stayed on until 6am giving Simon some much needed rest, which felt good as I have been slacking a bit on the lone nightshifts since being in the Caribbean.

At 7 am we arrived an Isle De Saintes and picked up a mooring buoy, as you are no longer allowed to anchor which was rather annoying as we begrudge having to pay. This is a small group of islands just off the South West point of Guadeloupe and the town Bourg Des Saintes was stunning. It was like an ornamental village with pretty pastel coloured gingerbread style houses and was the nicest place we seen so far in the Caribbean. Unfortunately thanks to a constant stream of ferries coming in and out and the position of our mooring buoy it was very uncomfortable on board. Every 30 minutes the wash from the channel would hit us and send everything flying around the saloon, so we decided to only stay for 1 night.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Next stop was Basse Terra one of Guadeloupe’s main towns and was built up with big grey concrete eyesores, it wasn’t much of anchorage with only a very small section of water next to coast line to set in. It felt like being anchored next to a motorway, but Simon needed to find a phone repair shop as his iPhone was on its last legs so we went ashore anyway.

As soon as his phone was repaired which by a miracle didn’t take long at all but cost an arm and leg we were back on board and pulling up the anchorage to move on to somewhere a bit more picturesque. By this point it was quite late and there wasn’t much daylight left but we decided to head all the way to Deshaies on the North West of the island. This did mean we would arrive in the dark and its something we tried to avoid but we were so excited to bump into Shavora and here all about their Atlantic Crossing that it would be worth it.

We weren’t wrong…… there was hardly any space when we got in and so we tied alongside Shavora who was attached to a Free and very sturdy mooring buoy. We climbed aboard and enjoyed homemade bread and butter pudding and talked for hours. It was so nice to see some familiar friendly faces and loved breaking the baby news to them. Although the pregnancy is still technically a secret we don’t mind telling other cruisers as they are as far away from home as we are so they can’t leak the news and its nice to be able to tell someone. Keeping it to ourselves is really becoming quiet hard!

We spent a week in Deshaies and it felt like the first time in ages that we could relax and enjoy the new upgrades on the boat. Mornings we would go exploring with Scrumpy and we even hiked over a 260mtr peak overlooking the anchorage. Late afternoons were spent on Shavora admiring the sunset over tea and cake which was just bliss. A well needed rest was just what the doctor ordered particularly as it was only a few days until our parents were due to arrive in Antigua!

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