Tin Tin's Sailing Calendar

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Colourful markets

We woke to find that our anchorage included a few wrecked yachts, presumably washed onto reefs or into the mangroves in hurricanes. However the overall feeling was of Poole Harbour, with its narrow entrance bounded by coral reefs, and the container and ferry port further up the bay. Further west the mountains, of Basse Terre rose into the cloud, evoking the Purbecks. We saw Pelicans flapping heavily by, resting their wings occasionally to glide a few inch s above the water on a sort of air cushion. To my delight a frigate bird came past, it's long black wings angled sharply back at the wrist, distinctive white chest and long black beak with a beastly looking hook at the end. I'd love to see the males expand the red pouch when they display.

A heavy rain shower passed as we set off in the dinghy to the marina. There we found the most efficient customs and immigration system on two computers. Just a question of filling in all details of boat and crew, printing it out and paying €3 to the marina. There is no need to check out again as I have specified that we will leave on the 5th.

We then took the dinghy up to the main town, and moored at the market, locking it to a lamppost. The intensity of colour in the fruit market was amazing, from the piles of produce to the brightly clad ladies selling their wares. From there we wandered through the streets of colourful clothing and tourist curios to the main market square, with its high roofed metal columned structure filled with colourful stuff. I sat in the blazing sun to sketch the scene and then joined Mark for a sandwich and cool passion fruit drink before we focussed on shopping. Meanwhile Kyle & Niall coloured more widely and discovered a museum.

Back on board with vital things like washing up detergent replenished we raised sail and set off for the Iles Saintes, 20 miles to the southwest, arriving just before sun set. Along the way I had the distinct impression of sailing on Ullswater, wish green fields and woods coming down to the water, with little settlements occasionally and the hills of Guadeloupe rising steeply behind. Beautiful! Plus it's Europe. The British could come and live here as easily as in Provence. Or at least before the Brexit fiasco!

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