We sailed upwind from Dominica to Marie Galante. This is a small flat island, dependency of Guadeloupe. We arrived in St Louis (north west coast) in the afternoon after beating against the wind and waves for five hours. We sailed past a couple of gracious tall ships and caught a barracuda on the way.
We anchored in the bay of St Louis in shallow azure waters. Best anchorage we had experienced so far – shallow and peaceful, the anchorage was right next to a snorkelling/diving dedicated area. The crystal clear waters are inhabited by corals and varied species of fish and turtles. We had the greatest time snorkelling, getting to know the little town of St Louis, going for long walks, and having barbecues on the beach.
Being small and perhaps apparently uninteresting, Marie Galante does not attract many tourists. We had all the peace and wilderness to ourselves. What a bliss!
The only not so pleasant experience in Marie Galante was a boat search (for drugs) whilst at anchor, soon after we checked in. Having arrived from Dominica where even roosters are consumers, we must have raised the alarm when we checked in with the Customs in Grand Bourg. Surely the appearances did not help…as we were not the typical cruisers!
We then moved onto Guadeloupe, the butterfly shaped ‘emerald island’, where we bumped into a lovely American couple, cruisers for many years, Mike and Robin. We had met them a few weeks back on a fellow Cruising Association member’s boat. We spent some beautiful moments together discovering the Basse Terre – the mountainy side of the island, where Sorin and I saw for the first time an iguana whilst visiting the oldest building in Guadeloupe, Fort Delgres. Such an exciting moment! This and spending a great time with our new friends were the highlights of our stay in Guadeloupe.
When the time was right we resumed our cruising and set sail to Bonaire, part of the ABC islands (off the coast of Venezuela). We had a great five day sail – winds just right for a conformable, relaxed time at sea. We caught a wahi-wahi – interesting fish that changes colour after death (from bright golden with multi coloured shades to grey); the other highlight of the passage was that whilst I was lying down in the saloon I found myself on the floor in a split second. It was painful, but luckily not even a bruise as a result. Despite my mild claustrophobia I am now putting the lee cloth up just on one side.
We arrived in Bonaire on a Friday morning to realise that the Paradise has more than ‘one room’ and as we advance it gets better and better. And of course there is always the desire of clinging on, but then we know that we reached that bit of paradise because we kept on moving.