Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Les Îles des Saintes; Our last port of Guadeloupe.

Just South of Guadeloupe and mid way toward Dominica lay a set of islands called “Les Îles des Saintes” where we stopped for a couple of days before crossing to Dominica. We took the time to visit the town of Bourg des Saintes where I wouldn’t think live more than 500 peoples. The anchorage was deep with a bit of roll but the town was very welcoming and, as other English speaking sailors told us, unilingual French. Of course we didn’t really notice that aspect as we were just too happy to be greeted and served in French by the local business, the first time since we left Canada really. The town is very picturesque and survives only on tourism as there is just no agriculture or industry whatsoever on these islands.

Time in the area really takes another dimension as the tremendous heat picks up around 10:00am and burns everything daring to stay in direct sunlight for more than a microsecond until it goes down again around 04:00pm. During that time, the body just cannot function and naturally slows down and so do we. To cool off we try jumping in the water but it is already at 90°F (32°C). I mean we take showers at lower temperature than that! So, during most of the day we have to slow down and do virtually nothing. But early in the morning we were able to go visit a nice fort called “Fort Napoléon”, a well preserved artifact of the very active past of Guadeloupe, which was violently disputed by the French and the English.