Sunday, May 5, 2013

Marie Galante

 On last Friday we sailed back to Marie Galante. We had a good wind, but no fishing luck. Our first stop was Ilet du Vieux Fort, a small rocky island on the west side of Marie Galante, where we had a swim. There were thousands of Sooty Terns around it and on it, if I didn't know I would think we were in Seychelles, I never saw birds nesting on the ground elsewhere.

We anchored in the bay of St Louis. Seeing the clouds in the West we knew there will be no sunset - again.

We were only doing small projects while in Petit Terre, so it was time for bigger stuff again. We started to install AIS and replace the AIS cable (AIS is a device that receives the radio data about other boats around and also transmits data about our boat - so we know whom, when and where we are meeting). Still I found some time to go snorkeling.

I couldn't resist another Spotted Cleaner Shrimp.

This is a Fire Coral with the Brittle Star.

And another surprised Moray Eel.

Heron again attracted a big Barracuda - it was of a lighter color, but almost the same size as the one in Petit Terre.

Luckily, most of the rain clouds passed us to the North, we only got some showers. But it is obvious, that the winter has ended, it is warmer, less wind, air is more humid and there is more rain.

The weather still allowed us to work and snorkel. This pretty Porcupine fish was right under our boat.

Yes, it is the same fish, it can change its coloring in seconds.

This is a new thing I found - a Warty Corallimorph, a relative to anemones.

An Octopus having lunch.

Sea Perls

Another first for me - a Branching Anemone. Wit a Moray Eel tail.

This one is called Sharpnose Puffer - if it was up to me, he would be a Prettynose Puffer.

We were too busy on Saturday, so we went ashore on Sunday. You can get baguettes in France on any day.

This is St Louis. It is so empty because it was Sunday.

View to the anchorage towards north.

Looking to the west towards Le Saintes and south of Guadeloupe.

It was hot and we found a nice place with cool drinks, and even free wi-fi. A rarity for France.

In the afternoon I was in water again. After finding so many new things the day before, I wanted to shoot some more photos.

This is Branching Anemone again, in different colors, with a Spotted Cleaner Shrimp.

And another Spotted Cleaner Shrimp - they are so pretty and delicate, I can't stop taking photos of them.

This trio of Black-spotted Feather Dusters is growin from an empty shell of a Conch.

These are Mat Zoanthids.

And this is another first - Boring Red Sponge and small brownish things on it are Sponge Zoanthids.

Back near the boat the Barracuda was waiting for me.

In the late afternoon I was resting in the cockpit, getting ready to start cooking dinner. All of a sudden I saw a big water splash in the direction of Guadeloupe. It was too big to be made by a fish or a dolphin, so I suspected it was a whale. I called Tomaz and we were sitting there and watching and almost gave up. But after 15 minutes there it was again - a spray of water, then another, then a black back, and one more, again some sprays, and then the big tail and all was quiet again. Wow! I was never watching whales from an anchored boat! Although we could see them well, they were still a few miles away, too far for a photo. We stayed out for another half hour and saw the sprays two more time, each time further away from us in direction Pointe a Pitre. I really wonder what are they doing there, the two whales we saw about a month ago, were also right in front of the Pointe a Pitre entrance channel.

On Monday morning I went snorkeling again. The two big brown things in the photo are Barrel Sponges and trees to the left and right are corals named Sea Plumes.

And I found something new again - a Pederson Cleaner Shrimp, sitting in a Corkscrew Anemone.

The detail of a Branching Anemone. Only on my computer I noticed a part of another shrimp at the bottom of the photo - Sun Anemone Shrimp. It is almost translucent, so it is no wonder, I didn't notice it.

This is a Reef Scorpionfish, it was hanging upside-down from a small coral ledge (I rotated the photo, it is nicer to look at). Another first for me.

Yellowline Arrow Crab guarding a Branching Anemone.

Even on Monday our "little pike" (mala scukca) as we named her, was still under our boat. But she was about to lose "the roof above her head", as we were leaving for Le Saintes in the afternoon.

We sailed off at about 1 in the afternoon. We had surprisingly good wind and were sailing fast, until we got close to Le Saintes and I saw a familiar spray of water again. Captain turned the boat towards Guadeloupe and I was sitting at the bow to watch for the whales. Ten minutes later I saw a spray further west, so we changed the course again. After another 15 minutes we saw some sprays again, still further away from us towards west. We decided to give up and turn back to Le Saintes. I was still looking all around so I wouldn't miss anything. We were already very close to Le Saintes when I saw a big black thing jump up in the air and return to the water with a big splash, only a couple of miles from us. What a sight! I never saw anything like it. Afterwards we saw some more sprays, and I couldn't believe our luck to have seen the whales on two days in a row. After a little while we dropped the anchor behind Paine de Sucre.

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