Friday 27 January 2017

Isle De Saints, Guadaloupe and 'Death in Paradise'

We left Portsmouth, Dominica in the morning of 23rd January and had a very pleasant sail to Isle de Saints, a small group of islands just to the South of Guadeloupe. Mick was a bit under the weather and so slept for most of the day passage and therefore missed the best sailing we'd had on the whole trip to date.

Isle de Saints provide a very pretty vista and sheltered waters for sailing and at first glance as we entered our anchorage off La Bourg at about 1700, looked like an area we might spend a few days in.

However, the next day having wandered around Le Bourg we both got the distinct impression that we were in the south of France. It WAS very pretty – but far too twee for our tastes especially after our experience of Dominica. For one thing there was hardly a black face in evidence (apparently most of the islanders are descendants of Breton Fisherman). We therefore decided to move on the next morning. We were woken at 0730 by a knock on the hull by the local debt collector come for his mooring fee! We had moved from our anchorage the previous mooring and had picked up a mooring to be nearer the centre of town. Once up we decided to get going but it was still 0930 before we had stowed the dinghy and otherwise made ready for sea.

We were aiming for Basse Terre, the Capital of Guadeloupe. There was a marina there and we thought we would take advantage of such facilities as showers and laundry. However we got no answer on the VHF as passed and so continued on to the anchorage at Anse La Bargue where we arrived at about 1700. We were just in time for a swim before it got dark and I saw a turtle in the bay! There was nothing shore-side so we stayed on board and Mick cooked an excellent dinner.

We made a reasonably early start on Thursday and got the anchor up at about 1000. The wind was very fickle and we therefore motored the rest of the day. Our destination was Deshaise on the north wet coast – the real life location for the TV series “Death in Paradise” which Sharon and I had watched since its first (and best) series and which I had had long marked out as one of my future sailing destinations. The scene looked so enticing on the TV. We stopped off for a swim and lunch at the anchorage at Pigeon Island about halfway to Deshaise. It's an underwater protected area established by Jacques Cousteau. Unfortunately I didn't anything of great interest when I went snorkelling but no doubt I would have if we had stayed longer.

We arrived at Deshaise just after 1700. The anchorage was very crowded (unlike on the Telly) and we had to spend sometime looking for a suitable spot to drop the anchor (one that was not too near other boats or the rocks or in water that's too deep (the deeper the water the more chain you need to let out and the heavier it is to get up).

Ashore I think I spotted some of the sites featured on the TV but could not be sure. The only thing I was sure about was the church. The actual Police station was clearly not the building featured on the TV. This I think is the beach bar featured.....

It was all VERY French, indeed, Parisian (but less so than the Isle De Saints), and I was left feeling a little disappointed that the reality did not live up to the TV illusion! Once again we decided that two nights would suffice and so tomorrow – Saturday – we'll be up early and headed for Falmouth Harbour, Antigua

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