Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Inhabited from time to time for at least a 1000 years this tiny island off the South East coast of Guadeloupe is now uninhabited at least at night but by day the holiday makers arrive. We anchored there on Sunday and the beach was heaving with people mostly locals from Pointe a Pitre who come out for the day or the weekend if their boat has accommodation.
Our trip up was not without it's exciting and scary moment as I decided to leave the Saintes with a full main and staysail, expecting a 10 knot breeze but the local acceleration on the North end of the island combined with a squall line that I had not taken sufficient notice of gave us a 30 to 40 knots and a bad few minutes till we were able to depower the main and bear off while the squall passed. Still it was a reminder to me that I should tidy up my dumping ground shelf before we leave as it was spread all over the floor and some items made it into unusual places. I got an official “I told you so” from Gisela.
We anchored and enjoyed a sundowner. The following morning after a late start we had a job finding somewhere to get ashore on the mainland as the dinghy dock shown on the map is smashed and the obvious alternative has been blocked off by a large wire fence. I toyed with the idea of running ashore on the beach but as there was a swell running so I chickened out and we found a quiet spot on the island to get ashore and took the ferry over to the mainland. Gisela says she has never gone shopping for food as often as we do! I blame it on the need to buy bread everyday in the French islands although we have found a traditional loaf called Pain de Siecle which will keep for 2 -3 days.
Ashore on the mainland Gosier is a typical little, slightly scruffy, French holiday village but the murals are good and the church tower is modern and adorned with one of the best murals.
Not all the locals were talkative this one seemed a bit wooden
and this one definitely was.
On the island of Gosier the artwork is less professional, this was the lighthouse keepers house at one time, now abandoned as the light is automatic. Even the warning signs on the poisonous machineel trees have been defaced.
But the graffiti on this abandoned hull was somehow a work of some artistic value; at least I think so. It certainly brightened up the beach on the island.
We had a couple of comfortable nights here tucked up by the island and sheltered from the swells by the reefs that stretch out on both sides. The sound of the surf lulled us to sleep, such a change from the “BOOM BOOM BOOM rap music” blasting out from giant bass speakers on some other anchorages we have been in recently.
We will go through the canal, or river Salee as it is sometimes called, between the two halves of Guadeloupe and gunkhole around in the Cul ed Sac du Marin before jumping over to Antigua around the end of the month.
Posted by John Duncker at 9:55 AM