We upped anchor and headed out of Falmouth Harbor, Antigua early in the morning headed for Deshais, Guadalupe. It was a glorious day with moderate trade winds from the north east and a gentle swell. Mermaid was in fine form plowing through the azure Caribbean at eight and a half knots with the apparent wind at 70 degrees.
Arriving at the crowded anchorage at Deshais mid day we found a nice spot to drop the hook and celebrated the passage with a landfall drink. Guadalupe is part of the French West Indies and the island has a very distinct French flavor. After checking in we headed for a seaside cafe and ordered a Ti Punch, the local drink made from the very strong Rhum Agricole distilled on the French islands, simple syrup and a squeeze of lime. That evening we returned to the same restaurant for a meal straight out of a sit com. Our server was a local girl who was obviously new to the job. We were seated at a seaside table and as she served our drinks the tray they had been on went over the railing into the ocean. She spoke only french so we ordered with
some difficulty as our French is laughably poor and while we were waiting she spilled a large tray of drinks on a customer at the next table. As they were cleaning up a brief but intense squall hit. We were protected by the awnings that lined the restaurant. However, one of the awnings at the other end wasn’t set properly and Robin spotted it and predicted that the awning couldn’t hold the large amount of water that was collecting in it. She was right. A minute later it came crashing down releasing a deluge of water that thankfully missed the people sitting nearby but left the floor very wet. One of the waiters was wearing a pair of shoes that were very slippery on the wet floor. It was quite entertaining watching him slide around the corners carrying trays of food and drink.
We visited the Botanical Gardens with Bob and Carol of SV Oasis the following morning. The gardens were well laid out with some spectacular foliage and flowers. The highlight was a visit to the aviary where you purchased a small cup of nectar to feed the flock of very willing lorikeets.
We’d been looking forward to snorkeling at Pigeon Island. Mermaid was anchored nearby and we had several nice snorkels. There were a lot of nice reef fish but the coral was somewhat disappointing so we moved down
to a Anse la Barque to wait out a couple of days of strong trades. The coral was better for snorkeling in this anchorage.
When the weather broke we headed down to a group of islands at the southern end of Guadalupe known as Le Saints. We rounded the tip of Guadalupe with a squall packing 30 knot winds and big, ugly wind waves. Deciding we didn’t want to be in the Saints that bad we doubled back and dropped the hook for a couple of hours until the squall passed and the seas calmed down. Later we had a nice sail down to Terre Haught in the Le Saints where we grabbed a mooring for the night.