Thursday, June 19, 2008

Montserrat Coastline & on to Guadeloupe

June 1st, 2008 The Montserrat Coastline

0540…We've had another early start. Randy has read via Navtex that there is a tropical storm off Belize that may play havoc with us here on the other side of the Caribbean---higher seas and winds. We’ll see. We may have to turn back.

Where are the East winds?? The winds are in fact coming from the South.. Both sails are up; wind then no wind.

0620 hrs. Motor off, we’re doing up to 7.2 knots. I can smell ash in the air and then we can see it.
We have read the volcano is in fact active right now and we need to keep a good two miles off the island.

0700 We’re off Plymouth which was destroyed in 1997 when the Soufriere Hill Volcano blew. We can see the remains of some buildings. It is quite eerie.

Our trip across the Guadeloupe Passage was quite uneventful. We tried on and off to sail with not much luck. The seas were a gentle5-7 foot swell and the wind, what wind we had was on our nose. We were doing 2 knots. We figure at this speed it would take us 15 hours to get to Deshaies (pronounced DAY-hay). Not a good plan. So, by now you know the drill….motor back on.

By 1345 we are in Deshaies, Guadeloupe anchored in 18.4 feet—
George: N16 degrees 18.451; W61 degrees 47.836

Deshaies is definitely a picturesque fishing village. We’re on the NW coast of Guadeloupe. To-day we traveled approximately 44nm.

Guadeloupe was known by the Caribs as Karukera; Island of Pretty Waters. It is part of France and has a population of 330,000. Guadeloupe is in fact two islands shaped like a lopsided butterfly with a river; Riviere Salee separating each half. For whatever reason Basse Terre (meaning lowland) is mountainous where as Grand Terre (large island) is actually smaller in size and not mountainous.

We are most impressed with how clean Deshaies is.

Manon checking out the shops.

Incredibily tidy homes.

Stopping for a little French Cuisine.

Gervais, Randy and Manon

Monday, June 2nd.

0900hrs and we are on our way to clear customs. We find the office and it is not open until 1300hrs.
We walk through town with Manon and Gervais, checking out all the fabulous little shops, plus we check the weather at a WIFI stop.

1300hrs. Back we go to Customs and Immigration which turns out to be very simple and straight forward.. There are no fees.
We tried to get some produce at the local grocery but it was closed. We assume it will reopen sometime between 1400 and 1500hrs after siesta time. So we decide to go for a nice cold drink and enjoy the scenery.
Back to the grocer and it is still closed. Meeting a lady on the sidewalk she explained there had been a funeral to-day and many shops would stay closed for up to nine days. Well, I guess we won’t be getting any fresh fruit or vegetables.

The guide book is correct---the wind is funneling down into the baie---keeping the bugs away…Hooray!!

There is very,very little English spoken here in Deshaies. Business is all in Euros. Thank you to Manon and Gervais helping us translate. We will have to come back to this pretty spot for a longer visit.
We have decided not to stop further down the Guadeloupe Coast but head directly 28.9nm to Les Saintes.

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