Guadaloupe (1990)

Saturday: Pointe-a-Pitre to Les Saintes
Sunday: Les Saintes to Pigeon Island
Monday: Pigeon Island to Deshais
Tuesday: Dashais to Basse-Terre
Wednesday: Basse-Terre to Les Saintes
Thursday: Lay day in Les Saintes
Friday: Les Saintes to Gozier
Saturday: Gozier to Pointe-a-Pitre

You may be more comfortable if you reef…

In 1990 St. Bart’s Sailing selected Guadaloupe as its winter trip destination because it was new territory for our sailors and because our charter company had just opened its base there and was offering specials. Guadaloupe was still in the early stages of developing a bareboat-friendly tourist industry, so this cruise was a bit different from many of our others.

Guadaloupe did not offer a lot of great anchorages. We worked our way up the west coast to Deshais, a deep notch into the mountains with deep water, bad holding for the anchors, and a spooky wind that howled all night long, then turned back south to spend a couple more nights in Les Saintes.

On the way we overnighted at Basse-Terre, waking to a storm system moving in off the Atlantic. The crew of the first boat out reefed her main before poking her nose out into the channel south of Guadaloupe. Intensified trade winds put her on her ear, and a I went below to radio the other two boats about the conditions.

“It’s pretty windy out here, you might be more comfortable if you reef . . .” I said as a swell heaved me across the cabin.

“Might be more comfortable!” the other boats crowed that night, having been battered by 40 knot gusts, 5-foot swells, and pelting rain for several hours.

But a party on the beach and some clothes pinned to the lifelines to dry soon put everything right.

Cathy catches a few quiet moments between squalls.
Les Saintes sleepy village was our favorite stop on the trip.
A house under construction on an isthmus in Les Saintes provided a lovely view for our anchored yachts.
Starr and Sean weather the stormy passage from Guadaloupe to Les Saintes.