Guadeloupe // Last Days

Guadeloupe // Last Days

March 15, 2018

Day 7 – Les Des Saintes

It was an early start for once, leaving the anchor in Bouillante by 7:30am.  It was a calm night, with just one squall rolling down the mountains at 4am, then the usual winds whistling through the hills and rigging, swinging us around as the sun came up.

We had a decision to make about where to spend one of our last nights in Guadeloupe.  We could try to make it a little more upwind towards a new island, Marie Galante, or back to Les Des Saintes.  Either option would be a 16 nautical mile transit, and take most of the day.  Being on the leeward side of the island moving south, we started just under motor, watching rain falling on the mountainsides in the distance.  The west side of Guadeloupe is naught for want of water.

After 2 hours of making good headway at 8kts under power in flat water, we were optimistic about reaching Marie Galante.  But as we rounded the point at Vieux Forte, passing the same lighthouse we had seen just a couple days ago, we were greeted by 4ft sea swell with wind chop and an opposing tide.  Our speed dropped precipitously to 4–5kts, and after an hour of trying to tack through the swell and not making much progress, we called it quits and ducked into Les Saintes.  It still took another 40 minutes to get into harbor, but by 11:15 we were thinking about where to anchor.

We chose a new little spot around the corner, Pointe du Sucre, and found one of the last open moorings.  What luck.  It was tuna fish salad for lunch on the boat, piña coladas, naps, and snorkeling at the nearby beach in the afternoon.  It was a perfect afternoon after a long morning!

This new anchorage has a strong prevailing wind, so we weren't swirling around on our mooring for once.  And the waters were much flatter compared to the main harbor at Bourg des Saintes.

It was another gorgeous sunset, with a pasta dinner, and a long midnight game of hi-lo-jack to wrap up the day.

Day 8 – Gosier

It was our last day down island.  There was a lot of the provisioning to finish, so we made a gigantic egg breakfast before getting underway at 9am.  It was going to be another long transit day to get back to the marina in Pointe a Pitre.  We left harbor heading NE into 20–25 kts and 4ft seas, with steep chop from current and wind.  Typical Caribbean conditions.  After 2 hours of slogging through the first 8 of 18nm, going from 7kts under a reefed main and full jib down to 4kts at times, we had to start taking shifts at the helm.  I hopped on for an hour before being relieved by one of our many Bobs.  By 1:30pm, 4 hours into our sail of varying tacking angles and a dropping wind, we furled the jib and power-sailed the last half, stopping in to little Gosier Island just outside Pointe a Pitre.  We arrived just after 3pm, making it almost 6 hours of transit.

Some grassy patches made anchoring at Gosier tricky, but I immediately fell in love with this little spot!  It was perhaps the best anchorage of the whole trip, with an island like a postcard view.  The water was truly flat and calm, with low breezes to keep you cool and steady on the anchor.  We only had about 2 hours of time to stay for a swim and snack, before getting into the marina before dark (and rain).

We went back to the same little square next to the marina where we had kicked off our Caribbean adventure, but opted for gourmet meals at the new French restaurant instead, Gargantua Grill.  All that was left for our journey was the [direct] flight back home to Rhode Island.  A week in Guadeloupe well spent!

Favorite Port of Call:  Gosier

Favorite View:  Fort Morel / Caroline over Baie du Pompierre

Best Beach:  Pompierre

Best Snorkeling:  Pompierre / Cousteau Parc section along mainland Bouillante

Best Food:  Duck at Cafe du la Marine (Bourg des Saintes) / Veal at Gargantua Grill (Pointe a Pitre)

Best Surprise:  La Kassaverie

Worst Port of Call:  Basse Terre on a Sunday

Next Time:  
Long Rainforest Hike to Chute du Carbet 1
Volcano at La Soufriere
Nature Preserve at Isle de Petite Terre
Downtown Basse Terre
Distilleries at Marie Galante

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Photography Journal

Warm Getaways
Warm Getaways

February 10, 2020

I had been eagerly awaiting this winter season.  Here in New England, the winter months can be rather frigid, but for those of us who don’t mind the exhaustive work of climbing into 6 mil wetsuits or ice-cream-headache cold waters, it’s the eagerly anticipated winter months that bring the biggest swells.  We had snow before the New Year and water temps quickly started approaching 40°F.  But in typical fashion, as soon as the long awaited winter months arrived, I was craving a break from the cold gray in favor of a warm water reprieve.  

Read More

Board Portraits // Experiments
Board Portraits // Experiments

April 30, 2019

I've been wanting to shoot more portraits lately, but in combination with the surf community that I've been so involved with the past year.  My good friend, Kevin Tanner, behind Soudnings Surf Co creates some gorgeous handcrafted boards.  He does all his own shaping, resin work, and glassing, and I wanted to photograph some beautiful boards to highlight his craftsmanship as well as portraits of my friends who ride them.  I decided to do board portraits. 

Read More

Snowy Surf Sessions
Snowy Surf Sessions

March 26, 2019

A lot of us enjoy the warm weather, but a select few of us still enjoy (or perhaps tolerate) the cold weather.  And nothing quite says winter like a fresh snowfall!  On the rare occasion Rhode Island experiences more than one inch of snow while there's swell in the water, you can find a select few of dedicated riders on the shore eager to have a snow session.  

Read More