St. Bart’s to Guadaloupe

Beautiful mural on concrete wall in Deshaies, Guadeloupe

From Ile Fourchue we returned to the St Barts mainland to provision up.  The following morning, March 27, we began our sail to Guadeloupe at 6:30am.  The trip would take three days with lay over in Nevis and Monserrat.  We would not go ashore on either of these islands as Duhkxy did not meet requirements and we were not cleared to do so.

The first two days we sailed as close to the wind as Ice Floe can sail and endured 5-6 foot swells.  Wind was around 12-15 knots interspersed with squalls into the low to mid-20s.  This was pretty rough sailing and adding to the challenge, we fished most of the time.  Sadly, I only caught one very large and one pretty small barracuda!!  Are there any fish left in the sea?

The Soufrière Hills Volcano on Monserrat

We passed by Monserrat and viewed the Soufrière Hills Volcano blowing smoke from several places.this previously dormant volcano erupted violently in 1995 and 1996, burying the islands capital, Plymouth, and requiring the relocation of half the island’s inhabitants.  Fortunately, the town was evacuated prior to the major eruptions, but 19 lives were lost.  The southern two thirds of the island remain uninhabitable and the volcano remains active.

Our third day required us to motor sail as the wind was down to 5 knots.  The squalls were, however, the most severe we have encountered – with a top speed of 35 knots.  The sails were set for the squalls, with a reef in the mainsail, and no jib.  Nonetheless, a sudden 35 knot wind with substantial swells is a mighty force.

We arrived in Guadeloupe on March 29th around 5:00pm. We were bone-tired and ready for an early night when we anchored in Anse Deshaies, Guadeloupe.

The information we reviewed concerning the anchorage in Anse Deshaies had prepared us for it to be crowded.  Free moorings were all occupied by local boaters.  The depth of the anchorage drops off quickly.  We anchored out a bit, repositioning ourselves twice and settling in about 30 feet of water.  It was a comfortable anchorage with plenty of breeze, little swell, and a short dinghy ride to restaurants and a small grocery store.  Our only concern was Ice Floe, along with all the boats in the cove, continually shifted direction.  Of greater concern was that it was not unusual for one boat to swing in one direction and the boat beside it another.  With a great deal of anchor chain out, we regretted not having set a float to mark the anchor’s position.  This would give other boaters an idea of the substantial area Ice Floe might occupy depending on how she swung.

The following photos and comments are from our first day in Deshaies, Guadeloupe.

Local fishing boat in Anse Deshaies
We had a fabulous lunch of local fish and pork while entertained by bananaquits
Land crab ready to duck into its substantial underground home
Land crab half hiding in its underground home
Picture-perfect home on the waterfront of Anse Deshaies
The dormer of this lovely home with a balcony set up with children’s size chairs

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