Saturday, May 10, 2014

Iles des Saintes

What a wonderful surprise Guadeloupe and The Saints have been. 

May 3, we were “on the road” by 9 headed to Iles des Saintes (The Saints).  Less than 10 miles south of Guadeloupe are a group of 8 islands discovered by Columbus on all Saints Day in 1493.  Europeans ignored The Saints until France ordered settlers there in 1648 to prevent the British from colonizing it.  The 1815 treaty of Paris gave The Saints to France.  Fort Josephine was constructed on Ilet a Cabrit and Fort Napoleon on Terre de Haute to defend their interests. 

Iles des Saintes
Iles des Saintes
Fort Napoleon
The majority of residents of Terre de Haute are descendants of Breton fisherman and close ties to the Brittany coast of France remain.  Since the island is arid and the soil poor, no slaves were ever imported. 

At 2:30 Kay helmed us up to a mooring ball and we hooked on for the next six nights.  Green hills are picturesquely sprinkled with white red roofed buildings.  The days flew by while here and The Saints quickly became one of our favorite places.  Le Bourg is VERY French but spiced with creole influence.  It is charming and quaint with fine dining and interesting shops catering to the many that ferry here from Guateloupe.  We enjoyed dinner at Ti Kaz-la with two other couples, one American and one British.  We hiked to the museum at Fort Napoleon with Murray and then spent the evening with two young woman from Oslo who have just circumnavigated and are on their way back to Norway. 

While snorkeling off the many reefs in this area we have enjoyed the great variety of plant and fish life that feed here.  For the first time in a few months we were entertained by a pair of dolphins that came into the mooring area.

Now that we are close to the equator (15ยบ) we have been on the alert for seeing “the green flash” as the sunsets.  While Richard is yet to see it, Kay witnessed her first while Richard was mixing rum and cokes below.  

While we would love to Stay in the Saints longer, we need to provision in Pointe a Pitre on Guadeloupe in preparation for Paul joining us in Dominica.
Du Bourg Harbor

While at the marina (first time at a dock in 4 months) in Pointe a Pitre, we have a few days to get Atalanta cleaned up and back into semi-Bristol condition.  Living aboard puts a great deal of wear and tear on a boat but then that’s what there for. 

Fort Napoleon
As we head to Dominica, we will be leaving the Leeward Islands and entering the Windward Islands.  We are now close to entering the Grenadines and the islands just south.  Once there, we will be just south of the hurricane zone, safe and sound for the summer season.

Thanks for following our journey.

Richard and Kay

Murray's new friend

1 comment:

  1. The Boiling Lake is a must see in Dominica (be prepared for a long hike but worth it) and check out Champagne Beach.

    Remember when you get to the Grenadines, Grenada is only a day or so away, with so many great little islands/anchorages/snorkeling to check out. We ended up cruising the area for 2 months and since it was the off season there was no trouble finding anchorage. When you get to Tobago Cays do not use moorings (known for failing) the anchoring is great there. Do enjoy and you will find great wifi in the most unexpected places.