Tin Tin's Sailing Calendar

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Iles Saintes

We arrived at the Iles Saintes just as the sun was setting, and made our way into the sheltered water between the islands to anchor off the little town of Bourg. Things have changed in the eleven years since we were last here in LAROS and the bay is full of moorings, all taken, so that we had to anchor outside a line of yellow buoys, alongside a three masted topsail schooner.

We went ashore in the dinghy (all with lifejackets) to explore the village. The little dinghy pontoon was subtly lit with inset lights, and two local couples were sitting there wrapped in a colourful cloth to keep off the chill while they watched the sunset.

The little street was full of atmosphere with chic waterfront bars and restaurants. I picked a lively bar painted in bright green red and yellow and we sat on its balcony enjoying the sunset, sipping rum punches to the sound off reggae. So perfect that we had to do it again!
We then treated ourselves to supper at a local eatery, which served a very good fish tartare.

This morning we woke to find that two huge square-rigged cruise liners, last seen in Lisbon in October, had dropped anchor nearby, and were ferrying their passengers ashore in loads of fifty. No wonder the village looked affluent and up market.

We swam before breakfast and Niall and Kyle kept vying with each other to dive under the hull. Then we upped anchor and went round the headland to the little bay by the Pain au Sucre. This is a huge round outcrop of rock, with great columns of stone rising to a green top. Again all the moorings were taken, some anchored as close as we could, needing all our 60 metres of chain for the 20 meter water depth. Just a few yards further offshore it drops to 280 meters deep! It was a scene that I had been longing to revisit since our last experience, and I sat happily on deck sketching whilst others snorkelled to the nearby rocks. Then after a delicious lunch on board we set off for the south of Guadeloupe, watching a helicopter land on a big super yacht called "Cloudbreak" moored just astern.

As we rounded the southern lighthouse, we were accosted by the Douanes (Customs) in a powerful launch, but after questioning we were allowed to continue. They seemed to completely miss a yacht sailing in which looked as though it had sailed from Colombia!

We moored stern to in Marina at Rivière Sens, and went for a swim on the black sand beach adjacent, and watched the sunset go deep, deep red. Then a stroll into town to find bread and so on for breakfast. With the help of the Marina I hired a car, and tomorrow we will go and explore this mountainous and verdant island before setting sail for Antigua overnight.

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