Leaving Malendure, felt like opening a new chapter for the captain. The world underwater was opened and I couldn’t wait to explore further. Unfortunately, it would take a while until the next time. But time had come to further explore the island.
Winds were light so we only motored up to a little beach called Petit Anse, the little beach. Again, we found a small paradise, and we anchored up with SY Emelin just outside us. Petit Anse is a, as it is called, a small beach, in a cliff, just south of the town Deshaies. It has a beautiful beach, and one restaurant hidden behind the palm trees on the beachfront. We settled in and had a swim. All of a sudden we see a man swimming towards our boat. It was Roger from our great evening in Malendure. He and Judy were on a day trip to Petit Anse and had seen us anchoring outside. We quickly got them on board and continued the fun. Roger and I went for a food run in their rental and we struggled a bit finding an open restaurant. However, we saw a closed food truck with two local women outside and asked them (Roger speaks fluently French thank god!). One of the women jumps in her car and says follow me and guides us to a restaurant, that opens the kitchen to make us food. This is what I call good service! Back on the boat, we enjoy a fantastic evening together, just a fun as the last time, only with less alcohol (haha). They had to get back and we enjoyed the sunset on the deck, fantastic as always.
We enjoyed another day here, but the next day we parted with Emelin and sailed around the north end of the western wing of Guadeloupe. Here we entered the “Grand Cul-De -Sac Marin”, slalomed our way passed the coral reefs and anchored in a bay at Baie Mahaute. This is maybe not the most beautiful anchorage on the island, but clearly one of the calmest ones. No rolling and calm winds made our night sleep wonderful!
Baie Mahaute is a perfect starting point for a lot of activities. You can park your rental for free on the dock, the anchorage is free and the biggest shopping mall is a 20minutes walk away. On top of this, the small island Ilet Claret, between the coral reefs are closeby.
We did all of it! The first day we explored the local town of Mahaute a bit. Ok, this is not the best part of Guadeloupe. I needed a haircut and we went into a local barbershop. First, they seemed shocked that I wanted to cut my har there, but then we became the local celebrities for 20minutes. English was difficult so we used google translate for all it was worth. One of the guys in the shop spoke a little English at least. He had been a football pro in Italy, 2nd division and still played on the national team of Guadeloupe. When he understood we had sailed from Norway, he started to bring people in from the street to say hello! Again, it is really nice to meet local people and get to know them, at least a little bit. And the haircut was nice as Jill approved of it.
To rent a car is easy, but pick up was in a place called Jarry. We scootered on our bikes there but Google maps are not as good here as in Europe so we found ourselves scootering some strange ways, but in the end, we found Sixt and got the car. It was exploring time!
First, we did a trip down to the south of the eastern wing, to a place called Point-de-Chateaux. We had lunch in a small restaurant and enjoyed the local dish bokit’s, a sort of a sandwich which is extremely tasty, then we hiked up to the point, which is on a high rock, or a hill. Here we could see Ile-de-Saints, Marie Galante and even all the way to Dominica. We could also see that the sea conditions were quite tough out there so happy to be in a car for once.
Getting back, we stopped for ice cream and a swim at a nearby beach. The sand at the beach was crushed corals and very nice to step on. The water temperature is constantly 26-27degC but we have been here so long now that Jill finds it cold. Acclimatization is the word here I guess😊.
Exploring continued and we drove the other way the next day, to Basse Terre on Route-de-Traversee, a road that goes across the western wing. We stopped at a “hiking” route to a famous waterfall, however, to call this hiking is an overstatement. The route was paved with stones all the way in, and the walk was 10minutes. We found the waterfall and yes beautiful but totally crowded with all kinds of tourists and school classes, giving no regards to the covid restrictions. We quickly moved on to a real hike in the rainforest. This was a quite steep, 1,5hour walk in the mid of the rainforest and very beautiful. Large trees, lianes hanging down and very humid gave you the real rainforest feeling. Thank god there’s no snakes or dangerous animals in Guadeloupe!
The next stop was lunch at a restaurant just on the other side of the zoo. This is also in the middle of the rainforest, but with a view all the way down to Malendure and Pidgeon Island on the west side. The zoo itself was impressing, with monkeys, leopards, tiger, turtles, snakes and birds of all kinds. But the real test for the captain was the hanging bridges. They had made a path of 12 hanging bridges, 25meters up in the trees across part of the zoo. Despite my fear of heights we decided to enter and it was a great experience. Even though very scary when the wind made the bridge sway, the views were truly amazing. But in the end, I was so happy to feel ground under my feet again, we had to celebrate with another ice cream. Again, one of our best days on the Island and really good to stretch our legs a bit.
The next day was the last with the rental and we used it for shopping, shopping and even more shopping. Rumours on increasing covid infections made us tock up the boat to withstand an eventual lockdown. Also, a trip to the local chandlery U-Ship to get a few things resulted in a bigger bill than expected, as always when the captain finds a good boating equipment outlet.
The car was returned and the weekend approached. The next day we took the bus to Gosiere as we had rea it was a beautiful town with a lot of street art and nice restaurants. Well, it was a disappointment, but we saw the nice anchorage and beach and decided to go their later. We wanted to explore the marina at Bas-du-Fort so we took the bus there. The marina was nice and we would go back later, but then we decided to have lunch at the local pirate restaurant. Big mistake, it was a real pirate restaurant, it robbed you of your money and gave little back. Cool decorations but that’s it.
Saturday morning we picked up Judy and Roger at the dock and cruised out to the little island Ilet Claret. This island is 200m long but only 70cm high. Three palm trees and 2 shacks with a table is the only thing one this beautiful island in the middle of the coral reefs. We dinghied ashore and enjoyed a fantastic day there, only somewhat disturbed with all the local party boats that arrived a little later. French rap should be forbidden by law is the captain’s opinion but we did meet some nice people again a Roger played his ukulele actually in the water. We sailed back to Mahaute, anchored and had some lunch/dinner before saying goodbye to Judy and Roger, this time for good (on this occasion) as they were leaving in a few days back to France. We were truly sorry to see them go!
The next day another French boat came into the anchorage and we were not the only boat with people anymore. We had much fun with them, Svetlana and Hubert…but this will come in the next chapter!