Under water for days
Our battered mood after our arrival in Guadeloupe improved amazingly quickly. It’s impressing how the change from a hostile to a friendly nature affects the human psyche. The first night we were still very much in the swell in the northern bay of Malendure. Early the next morning we moved to the middle of the bay and lay there splendidly. Perfect anchor holding, even when strong gusts of 33 knots cleaned our vessel.
Malendure, Jacques Cousteau nature reserve
Malendure is a great anchorage on the west coast of Guadeloupe. Spacious with great holding. There’s a cute fisherman’s shelderbay, just off the Centre Commercial, with everything you need to please the soul, such as delicious bread, vegetables or wine. And there is a delicious restaurant, the Rocher de Malendure, with local cuisine. Good food has always cheered up our spirits.
The sea was mostly calm, the wind not so always. In front of us were the imposing green mountains of Guadeloupe`s Basse-Terre part of the island. 4 dinghy minutes away, the two Pigeon Islands, the nature reserve of Jacques Cousteau. The maitre himself was commemorated with a (very small) statue on the seabed.
The fish life there is amazingly diverse and for us reason enough to spend days in and under water. Snorkelling and diving. There was not a day when we did not climb back into the dinghy with broad smile. Some of the fish are too funny, the variety of colours and shapes too curious.
Every now and then we had our camera with us, but it didn’t capture the colours, the many underwater hunting scenes or the mating rituals. But it puts you in a good mood.
Guadeloupe – Les Saintes
At the end of the week we sailed another 24 nm south to Les Saintes. On the way, we caught another delicious mackerel for a barbecue. And to top it off, one of the best mooring balls was waiting for us unoccupied off Bourg, with fine wave protection. Les Saintes is one of our refuges. With hairdresser, restaurants and beautiful underwater world.
We continued our underwater week and the dive compressor had more work than usual to fill our dive tanks. There are some good dive spots in Les Saintes that you can go to on your own or with dive schools. Unfortunately, there are plenty jellyfish around, especially chasing Karin. Contact with the invisible beasts is painful and Ka looks like a crumb cake. But even that can’t keep her out of the water.
Anchor chain on the keel
Since we already had the bottles on the hump, we put in another round of underwater hull maintenance. In the process, we discovered that our anchor chain had damaged the gelcoat of our keels. Super annoying. This happened to us in Grand Case in St. Martin, when the current and wind turned us 360 degrees several times. We crossed this place off our list of anchorages. The repair is not acute, but it is pending. The timing is particularly annoying, because we wouldn’t have to take the Rivercafe out of the water during this seasonal break. Our bottom painting is still splendid and would also last another season.
Oh well, there’s always something on a boat. While we were in Les Saintes, we made new friends and, by chance, met up with old ones. But the reason for our stay here is the upcoming visit of our friends Moni and Tilman from Germany. Our last visit for this sailing season. At the beginning of the week we will set off for Dominica together and then sail on to Martinique afterwards. Both countries have abolished the C19 rules and we can enter and leave almost like before. What a relief.
Next week we will report from the insanely green island of Dominica. /Holger Binz
Changes on our website:
We have added a new section to our website. Under “Places” we describe anchorages and places where we moored with the Rivercafe. This should be informative for sailors – information that we would also have liked to have. Short but helpful.