We left the anchorage at Prickley Pear in the BVI around 1:30pm looking to make the 123nm trip to St. Kitts and arrive around the same time the following day. However, the seas were confused (coming from all directions) and kept our speed down. We decided that after 22 hours we had had enough and settled for the island of Sint (Saint) Eustatius which is the island about 20nm north of Sint Kitts. We found the anchorage easy to get into and we anchored without any difficulty. We originally planned to stay a couple of days and tour the island and its volcano. However, the anchorage was extremely roly and we decided to just leave and push on the next day.
The next day was 65nm down to Montserrat where we spent the next night. The anchorage in Montserrat was ok, exposed to the weather but the winds laid down for the night and we rested comfortably. We were hoping to get a good look at the volcano but the top was high in the clouds so we could not see the top. However, we could see the devastation that still remains after the volcano erupted in 1995. It had laid dormant for over 300 years prior to this. On the way down we went through several squalls and had to spend a good part of the time in our rain jackets. Next stop was Guadaloupe where we would spend a couple of days.
After watching the first 7 seasons of the BBC TV series Death In Paradise (3 times), we were thrilled to be able to visit Guadaloupe. After arriving and getting check-in with customs, we walked up the hill to the Catholic Church with the connecting Parish Center that is used as the Honore Police Station in the series. Death in Paradise is a British-French Crime Drama series that takes place on Saint Marie, an island in the Caribbean which is actually Guadaloupe and uses Dashaies (pronounced as D’-A’) as its main town.
Each episode has a murder and the Detective Inspector (DI) and his team go about solving it. The DI reminds me of a British Peter Falk who played Columbo in that series. At the end of each show the team will wind up at Catherine’s Restaurant. So on our way back to the boat we stopped at Catherine’s to take in our first sunset on Guadaloupe. Tim and I were happy we were not discussing a murder because since there was just three of us we figured Renee was not going to be the victim. I suggest you watch a few episodes of the show if you haven’t already. It is entertaining with gorgeous scenery and family safe.
When we first arrived in Guadaloupe and entered town from the dingy dock, Renee noticed a sign for Pelican Safari Offroad Adventures who provide tours of the island. Whenever we are at a new location we try and see as much of the island as possible given the time we plan to stay. We use cruising guides, the internet and word of mouth to locate the points of interest and figure out how we will go about visiting. We walk a lot, hitch hike, rent golf carts or cars and take tours. The tours are an excellent way of seeing the attractions and eliminate the need for renting transportation and one of us having to drive.
We called and arranged for a tour the next day. William our guide and owner agreed to pick us up at the Honore Police Station at 9:00am. We arrived at the location and found it roped off because they were in the process of filming season 9 of Death In Paradise. William arrived as scheduled and asked if we knew about the series? We told him we were huge fans of the series so he incorporated several shooting locations throughout the island into our tour. We left at 9:00am and did not return until after 7:00pm. William took us four-wheeling through the mountains, sugar cane fields and to a National Park where we hiked up to a secluded waterfall where we swam. We had lunch at a beach front restaurant and sampled some of the authentic Caribe local dishes. Our last stop on the tour was for a swim at a beach which has Volcanic Thermal Water. You swim off of the beach and as you move through the water you can feel the heat from the thermal activity which comes from the dormant volcano below. Pretty awesome! If in Guadeloupe, I highly recommend giving William at Pelican Safari a call for your personal guided tour. Their contact information is, phone – 0690 677 022, website – www.pelicansafari.fr
Our next stop was Terre-de-Haut island. Terre-de-Haut is the easternmost island in the Les Saintes archipelago of Guadaloupe. This stop was recommended by Gary and Deb fellow cruisers we met in Guadaloupe. They said it was one of their favorite stops and is now one of ours.
Terre-de-Haut has a huge anchorage with 90 mooring balls available. As is with all of the Caribbean islands we visited, it is almost impossible to anchor in the popular bays because they are filled with moorings and are very deep. So you can’t find shallow enough water and enough swing room to drop the hook. The good news is that unlike the $30 per night fee in the BVI, these are usually around $13 US. We grabbed a ball and stayed for three days.
The town is very French (as you would expect) and people are very welcoming. Places close down for about an hour and a half during lunch which is typical in the islands so you have to plan accordingly. We enjoyed walking the streets and taking in the sights.
There are two grocery stores in town just a short walk and were well stocked. Dining out can be expensive in the islands unless you know where to go, we try and eat like the locals. There are several Boulangerie’s (bakery) in town were you can have fresh pastry, coffee and of course baguettes. We found we could get a Croque-monsieur (ham & cheese on a baguette) for $4.00 US and pastries for around $1.50 which was a bargain. We stocked up on goodies for snacking later on the boat.
As with a house, there is something needing attention on a boat. The difference is that sometimes when things break on a boat you cant just go get it fixed. This is the case with our bow pulpit. When we first purchased 5KNOTS we noticed it had a bend in one of the sections assuming it had been hit. But it seemed as though the threaded rods and bolts holding it in place were still sound. Well maybe not, the two forward rods rusted through and we wound up having the pulpit just hanging by the back ones. This is not good considering it takes a beating because it is up front and as we bash through the waves it is under a lot of stress. So we took a couple of snatch straps and secured it as well as we could. On the repair list for Grenada.