10 May 2008


May 10, 2008

After a week of eating soft, white bread and yellow cheddar, we are back in the land of baguettes and camembert. If it there’s one thing these cheese-eating surrender monkeys know how to do right, it’s bread, cheese and wine. Vive le republic!

We left Antigua on Sunday and had a fast sail to Deshaies on the west coast of Guadeloupe. The wind was well out of the northeast so we were on a broad reach and at times a beam reach making for fast, easy sailing. Whisper, even with all her water, diesel and provisions, was averaging around 5.5 knots!

Deshaies is a pretty town with a fleet of local fishing boats, lots of bakeries and a great beach nearby. We spent Monday morning jumping through waves at the beach and by the afternoon decided to head south to charge our batteries and try to catch some fish for dinner. After 4 hours, the batteries were full but we had to come up with alternative plans for dinner. We’re still waiting to catch that first mahi. Around 4PM as we were both admiring the sun peeking out behind rain clouds on the western horizon, we both spotted a whale breaching! Wow! We saw it’s entire tail as it splashed through the water and then it continued to slap its tail repeatedly on the surface of the water. We think it was communicating with other whales, but what was it saying? The experience of seeing a whale was spectacular beyond words.

Continuing down the west coast of Guadeloupe, we spent two nights at a deep fishing harbour, Anse de la barque. When Kristen dove on the anchor to check that it was set properly, we found three old canons on the sea floor beneath Whisper. The next day when we were snorkeling, we saw another canon washed up on shore. We wanted to hike up the Caribbean’s highest peak, la soufriere, on the southern end of Guadeloupe, but after long, and somewhat hairy, bus rides we found out that we needed to rent a car to get to the trailhead. Next time.

DesHayes, a pretty little town in Guadeloupe.

A pretty old boat that anchored next to us.

Sunset in DesHayes.

Kristen steering down the coast of Guadeloupe.

Kristen checking out the goods at the fish market in Basse Terre in the south coast of Guadeloupe.

We’re currently anchored off the picturesque fishing village, Bourg des Saintes in Iles des Saintes, a collection of islands just south of Guadeloupe. There are lots of other cruising boats anchored here and many beaches, snorkeling spots and old forts to explore.