Saturday, January 23, 2016

Je ne parle pas Francais.....parlez vous Anglais?

Yet another exhilirating sail brought us from Montserrat to Deshaises in the northwest of Guadeloupe. We're getting a lot of mileage out of our buckets. Cubby and I agreed that buttered toast is the least offensive breakfast to see and smell again. Bacon is tolerable, but cinnammon is the worst. So we plan accordingly. Anyhoo, We spent only one night in Deshaises then made a bee-line for the Iles Des Saintes which we had heard such good things about. It didn't disappoint but our French language skills certainly did!

Sailing from Montserrat to Guadeloupe. It is impossible to capture the conditions on film. It looks really calm in this picture. Twasn't. We tacked back and forth multiple times to dodge big squalls, put reefs in and then shook them out again when the wind died or shifted, and lost a jib sheet through the clutch which whipped around wildly and nailed Andy. It was a very long day!

Thwack! The frayed end of the port jib sheet.

We arrived at the very crowded anchorage in fading light and had trouble finding a place to anchor in less than 45' of water. We settled for a spot in 35' and were glad to be approached by this smiling face ready to take our croissant and bread delivery order. There's always a bit of an eye roll when someone is approaching with something to sell. But we often buy something and are rarely disappointed. At 7AM the next morning we received bags of warm, buttery croissants and the best country bread we've ever had. Vive le France!! 

The wind does very weird and shifty things as it comes over these mountainous islands. It even came out of the west for a little while. But in the lee of the island the water was very calm and we made good enough time to stop for fuel. No one answered the radio at the marina and we wouldn't have been able to communicate anyway. Although we know the word for deisel because everything on our boat is labeled in French. It's gazole but we always call it gashole because it's more fun to say gashole. These two in a pilot boat cut us off at high speed at the fuel dock when we were very obviously manouvering in the tight space to line up with the dock. Gasholes. 

We arrived in the pretty Iles Des Saintes and got the last mooring ball. Anchoring is always our preference but some of these anchorages are so darn deep and the few shallow enough spots were crowded. This is a small cruise ship and their passengers get to visit some of the more off the beaten path places.

A pretty church in Terre d'en Haut.

Mmmm, glace! Really, really good glace. We do not speak French and most of the residents don't speak English but pointing and gesturing got us these treats.

Walking down the street in this quaint seaside village.

A sailing cruise ship on its way to the next destination. That's Tangent to the right. 

There was a little playground in the village with this cool climbing structure the kids loved. 

Fishing boats.

We walked up to Fort Napoleon and took in the view of the harbor.

Hi Tangent!

Say fromage!

Fort Napoleon is beautifully restored.

With great exhibits throughout. Even though it was all in French we were able to understand a lot. 

The detailed tiny models of the battles really helped us get the picture.

Cannon picture. Again. Oy.

The outside of the museum. Another great building.

The sign.

Outside of the walls.

Trying to recreate a photo from Makai's blog.

Dinghy dock in town. This is a very civilized set up.

We went out for a really nice dinner. We had to reserve a day in advance and the restaurant has one seating. There was some serious language confusion but we ended up having a fabulous meal. And learned never to order a Ti Punch ever again.

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