042013 Le Bourg Iles des Saintes to St Marteen

Well the plan looked good when outlined on the calendar - first stop Les Saintes followed by Montserrat, Nevis St Kitts and finally St Marteen over a three week period. But as we all know plans are made to be changed and ours unfortunately did. 

032813 7 Beautiful Bay

Le Bourg

We did make our first stop as planned from Dominica arriving into the bay of Le Bourg on 26th March. Les Saintes is a small group of eight islands south of Guadeloupe and only some 23 miles from Dominica. We cleared in at Le Bourg the township on one of the largest islands in the group Terri De Haut - the largest being all of 12 square kilometres. The bay does not allow for anchoring so we secured ourselves to a mooring which proved to be opportune as the wind blew and the daily ferries from Guadeloupe ladened with day trippers sent out wakes that disturbed every boat in the anchorage. 

Les Saintes is a french speaking island and one of the few islands, most likely because of its size and lack of water, that did not go through the typical carib then european plantation phase. They say that most of the local population can still trace their ancestry back to Brittany and Normandy and the economy prior to tourism was based on fishing. One thing they do very well and we are thankful is not available on every island was the freshly baked baguette. 

033113 1 Farewelling Tully and Jaz from Le Mistral till new time

Tully and Jas fellow Aussies

While in Les Saintes we walked the hill to the Napoleon Castle that proved to be far more than we could see from our anchorage. Built in 1777 by order of King Louis 16th and later renamed in 1805 Napoleon Castle it is now used as a museum for the island and in amazing condition. Complete with Iguanas in the garden it gave a great view of several of the bays in the area. We managed to fit in a snorkel at Paine de Sucre but unfortunately had to move on before our planned scooter trip around the island. One highlight was meeting Jas and Tully from Le Mistrel, who we spent our few days of Easter with. Jas and Tully had been sailing south from the US visiting such places as Cuba, and were on their way home to Cleveland (Brisbane) Australia. Was really nice to have easter with Aussies particularly when I couldn't find an easter egg anywhere!

072812 19 Alan and Barry enjoying a bit of banter

Easter Sunday saw us leave our mooring and head for Deshay to clear out of Guadeloupe. We had initially planned to stop along the way at Pigeon Island at the Cousteau Marine Park but we were now on a timeline. It was in Deshay as we put the pick down that we heard the sad news that Andrews father who had fallen ill in the last two weeks had passed away. We were no longer sailing north to St Marten to get Andrew home to see his Dad, we were now sailing to get Katherine secured so we could be home for his funeral. Priorities had suddenly taken a different arrangement.

So with saddened hearts we did the dash from Deshay to St Marten - 14 hours later we anchored in what the guide books advise can be a rolly anchorage - "rolly" was an understatement but given the conditions we had just sailed through blowing up to 38knots understandable. 

Before we knew it we had Katherine secured in the IGA marina in Simpson Bay - though Lee does wish that someone had advised that we were going to have to drop the anchor as we reversed stern to between a rather large power boat and a yacht! 

Next thing we were on a plane back to Australia. Our motto has always been "Out of Adversity Comes Opportunity". Well we could not fly out of St Marten direct to Miami as all the planes were full so we flew via Antigua - we took the opportunity to drive for six hours around the island and got to see English Harbour. Want to go back!

At home despite the sadness of being there to farewell Andrews Dad we got to see friends and relatives we have not seen in years and spend precious time with Scott, Ian Shan Libby and Jamie. 

Finally on the 17th April after too many hours on planes to recount we were back on board Katherine but alas Sevenstar on route advised that they wished to pick us up in St Thomas on the 29th of April not May as we had planned. So all too soon our time in the Caribbean is coming to an end. We won't get to see St Barts, Saba, Anguilla or spend much time in the BVIs but that just means we really do have to come back.

Plans change and now we are contemplating using our extra time in the UK maybe sailing to Scotland….guess we just have to watch this space.

(Click for more photos)

© SV Katherine 2018      Cover Photo: Katherine on Anchor Isle Tabarca Spain