We arrive in Deshaies, Guadeloupe on Sunday, Father's Day. The French do not celebrate Father's Day but they do celebrate Sunday. Nothing is open on Sunday. Families are together, enjoying a day of rest. We must make an attempt to check in with customs. We find La Douane(customs) but of course they are closed. We can try again tomorrow but they only open for 1 hour in the afternoon? We are not planning on staying. Oh well, we tried.
Next obstacle is money. They do not use the US $ here so we must find an ATM for some Euros. We find a nice French guy who tells us in broken English to go to La Posta. Of course, the post office for money. Sure enough, that is where the ATM is.
We pick out a very nice looking restaurant on the hillside for dinner. They are open, thank goodness since neither of us wants to cook. Besides, when on a French island you must eat French food.
We sit on a covered patio. We are surrounded by tropical lush vegetation and the tree frogs are serenading us. We feel like the jungle king and queen.
Our meal is great and our waiter speaks a little bit of English. With our very little bit of French we manage to order a great meal of Mahi Mahi. Each course is a delight and we enjoy every morsel including the very nice French wine.
After dinner we must navigate our way down the stairs, across the rocky beach and into our dinghy. In the dark. Steve is "lead man". Happy Father's Day!
The next morning we pull up our anchor and head for Pigeon Island, just a short hop down island. We hear the snorkeling is great there and we are not disappointed.
This is a Princess Parrotfish. They are efficient recycling machines that turn coral and rock into fine sand in the process of grazing algae from them.
This is a Smooth Trunkfish. It feeds on burrowing organisms. To find it's prey it spits jets of water into the sand and uncovers dinner.
This is another Parrotfish but the Sea Urchin behind him gives him an exotic look.
After a long day of snorkeling we headed for the shore and dropped our anchor in a nice bay. We were too tired to go shore and there was not customs office here anyway. Tomorrow we'll make a real effort. We will head for the capital, La Basse Terre.The next day we motor south. The coastline is so very pretty. The seas are calm.
The trolling line is out and Steve works on a project as we slowly motor to our next destination.We arrive in La Basse Terre just in time for lunch. That means customs will be closed until at least 1:30pm-2pm. We find a nice looking pizza place and look the menu over. We know some of the french words now but to our surprise the waitress speaks Spanish. Ok, now we are in business. We order our meal in our best Espanol. Trying to speak so many languages in one day is wearing the captain out. And why are you wearing Anne's sunglasses??
We find customs but it seems they closed at 2pm for the day. Strike three, we are out. We leave and head south again to a small day park. Here we find a dive mooring and a great snorkeling area. We swim, we watch the people walk run and bike along the ocean road. We watch the sun set and realize we are too tired to go anywhere and why not spend the night on this nice dive mooring? No one else is here?
The next morning we are awakened at 5am by French fishermen. Seems they want to use our dive mooring. Anne makes an appearance on deck in her pj's and tell them to go away. They don't understand but they make it very clear with hand gestures they want us gone. Go Go Go! How rude. We decide to comply since they out number us but we take our sweet time. Coffee anyone?
We head for The Saints: 8 small islands about 10 miles south of Guadeloupe. These islands are very French and picture postcard perfect. We find the customs officers. They check us in and out. Very easy. We spend the day looking around and come back in the evening for some great pizza (yes we have an addiction problem).
There is some bad weather coming our way and we are in $$$ vs Euro shock. Time to go. The next day we decide to head south to Dominica but will return here someday when the Dollar and Euro are on a more level playing field. Hopefully in our lifetime?
See you in Dominica
Anne and Steve
S/V Fine Line