So we have sailed to Guadeloupe and anchored at the north end as well as the south end and now checking out "Les Saintes Island".  Guadeloupe is French and very very little English is spoken.  We have gotten by with pointing and smiling and so far everything has worked out.  Lots of rugged mountains and usually some rain at some point in the day.

Our message is about Bs, the first B to talk about is Backpacking.  While we were anchored at Deshaies we happened to take the walk up the creek to see the water falls.  We did take a backpack because the walk up was a two hour hike so we needed lunch and some water.  Maybe we could have done without the water since we were hiking in the creek but you never know what was in the water so we were safe and took our own.  The hike was in the water, along the creek, on the side of the bank, and then though the brush as well.  No really clear trail to follow other than the stream but we did get to the end where the waterfall was at and disappeared into a "cave" like opening.  The trip back was much quicker because there was a paved road we could walk on back to the dingy.  Not sure I would rate the total trip over a  5 but we did get some exercise and Sam was tuckered out.  It was a good way to spend 4 hours of the day.

Since we are in a French country you can not go anywhere with out a Baguette: a loaf of bread maybe 2 to 3 inches in diameter and about 2 feet long.  You can slice them thin for dinner and make garlic bread.  You can slice a six inch piece and then cut it length wise for a sandwich.  You find then in every grocery store or bakery and everyone is usually buying them in the morning and carrying several home.

We made it down to the south end and anchored off Basse Terre for an evening.  Since this is the second largest city on the island we thought it would be a good spot to get some of our difficult food items to find.  We stopped at a local restaurant to see if we could find a taxi ride.  One lady at the restaurant spoke a little English, so after much talking in French and a few English words, we figured out that one of the waitresses would give us a ride to the big grocery store when she had a work break at 3:00, but could not bring us back.  We were confident that we could find a way back somehow, so off we went.  After buying our items at the grocery store, which was a challenge in itself, as everything was in French, and some things took some deciphering to decide if it was really what we wanted, we tried to have the help desk get us a taxi but to no avail.  The nice lady at the help desk called about five places, but for some reason, no taxi was to be had.  Again this is all done with little English/French being spoken but lots of nods and smiles.  Since no taxis were going to come the option of a bus ride was next.  We happened to get to the bus stop five minutes prior to the bus arriving and in our limited vocabulary asked the bus driver if the bus went towards where we wanted.  We made it down to the bus depot with out issue.  At the bus depot we had to find the next bus and then wait 30 minutes for it to arrive but we we made it back to the boat warm and dry.  It is amazing what you can do with a vocabulary of about 5 French words and lots of pantomiming and smiles.

The beach off of our anchorage is made of of sand that is black/dark.  We have seen the "normal" beach color and a pink beach so now a black beach seems like the next logical step.  Not sure if the sand has any health benefits but it seems like there are people swimming along the shore all the time.

Our last B is for the boat race we saw as we left Basse Terre and headed for Les Saintes Island.  In the pictures of the black sand beach you can see some of the boats on the beach getting ready for the race.  These boats look like the ones we watched in the Bahamas but on these they do not use a board to sit out over the water.  The boats are about 25' long, with a huge mainsail as you can see in the pictures.  The race was 10 miles, with 9 miles of open ocean into the wind all the way.  These guys take their sailing seriously.  When we left the anchorage the boats were not in the water but we did see them sail through the anchorage at Les Saintes later in the day.

We will spend a few days here in Les Saintes, before heading off to Dominica for more adventures.  At least they speak English in Dominica - we think???




05/25/13;  Backpack, Baguettes, Bus Rides, Black Sand, Boat race

Anchorage at Deshaies

the hike, note the Backpack

Scrambling up the stream over rocks

The end of the hike

The famous Baguettes

Weather around Basse Terre

Buses around Basse Terre

Yes,  Black sand

Black sand and boat prep

Finishing of the Boat race