Monday, March 26, 2012

Les Saintes underwater photo gallery

These photos have been taken snorkeling around the Ilet a cabrit and Paine de sucre anchorages.

This is a Smooth trunkfish

 And this is an octopus trying to blend in with the rock

 This is a Spotted scorpionfish #1

 ... and #2

This is a Scrawled filefish
 .... and #3
 The trio of Caribbean spiny lobsters
This is a Trumpetfish
 And this is an Orangespotted filefish
 Peacock flounder #1

Coral garden
 Scorpionfish #4
 These are Flying gurnards

... and another one
 This is a juvenile French angelfish - if you want to see the adult, take a look at our January post "Holiday with Jozi - part 1"
 A yellow sponge with a small Bandtailed puffer
Another coral garden
 And Peacock flounder #2
 ... and #3
A Brain coral
 An octopus trying to disappear in the hole too small for her

Sunday, March 25, 2012


 So, today I'm one year older than yesterday. Can't say I feel in any way differently than yesterday, it sure doesn't hurt :-)

 We celebrated by going out to Burgh de Saintes for dinner yesterday, my favourite restaurant Triangle is closed today.

This is Heron in anchorage behind Paine de sucre....

... and here it is - Paine de sucre itself.

I managed to take the wrong camera with us, so the photos are purely of documentary value :-)

 Triangle was nice as ever and food delicious.

 I had conch stew (conch is a big local shell), bananas, yam potatoes and cristophines - mmmm .... and some punch for aperitif and a bottle of good french wine.
 We both had a really good time.

And today i got to do whatever i wanted - this meant snorkeling and more snorkeling :-) No scraping of the bottom of the boat, polishing the stainless steel or anything similar!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Back to Saintes

On Tuesday morning, after dinghying back to St Francois to finish e-mails (we were not aware that Internet cafe we were working from on Monday evening, closes at 7pm, so we were kind of a middle of things when they shut up), we set sail towards Marie Galante.

While i was "driving", captain threw the fishing hook in the water and in less than 15 minutes there was this beauty. It is called Spanish mackeral (at least the book says so).

It has delicious white flesh and in the evening i "invented" this recipe - it is so good and simple, i think it is worth posting here.

So here it goes (this is for two persons):
Put a tablespoon of oil in the pan and heat. Brown the fish fillets from both sides, about 1 minute each side, then put the heath on low and cover and simmer for another 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Then add at least 2 tablespoons of butter (can be more, but should not be less - life's too short anyway :-). Add 4 cloves of chopped or sliced garlic (it is not too much - the taste of garlic is mellowed by butter), one teaspoon of grated lime zest and one tablespoon of lime juice, best with the pulp. Heath through and there you have it - Spanish mackeral creole :-) We ate freshly baked bread with it, you can serve it with boiled potatoes or rice - with something gentle. Once again - don't be skimpish with butter, it makes the sauce. The recipe was such a success, we ate the fish prepared the same way again the next evening.

We reached Marie Galante in three hours and anchored  in the low bay in front of Saint Louis.

It was pretty and peaceful, so we stayed for two nights. Snorkeling was not particularly good, so we were cleaning the bottom of the boat instead - scraping away the sea weed and barnacles. It's a hard work, believe me!

 Yesterday we sailed back to Saintes. We thought it would be an easy ride with the wind from behind, but there was very little of wind and the direction was changing by the minute. We prepared all possible sails we own including the gennacker, but after two frustrating hours of hoisting different sails to different sides of the boat, we gave up and motored to the destination.

We anchored in anchorage on south side of Ilet a cabrit.

 Today we "switched sides" - we moved across the bay to the anchorage at Paine de sucre. Snorkeling is great on both sides, I'm just waiting for some sunny weather to make good underwater photos.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012


 Last Monday we sailed along west coast of Guadeloupe from Deshaies towards south. I was "driving", and the captain did the laundry. Yes, sometimes roles get switched....

 We had very little wind, sometimes even from the west! I don't mind less wind than before, but there are always gray clouds covering the sky, humidity is high and it's not very pleasant.

We slept in Anse la barque, next day we sailed to Iles de Saintes. We had a couple of nice days swimming and snorkeling.

On Friday we sailed to Pointe a Pitre - in hope of getting the replacement for the broken radar cable. We anchored between the marina entrance and old town. On opposite side of lagoon is a commercial harbor. These big giraffes are watching over it and in the night, with their glowing red "eyes" on top of their head, they look like some monsters from Pink Floyd movie the Wall.

 Waterfront in old harbor of Pointe a Pitre.

 We didn't get the cable we were looking for, so there was really no reason for staying. So yesterday we set sailes again and sailed towards east to little town of St. Francois. Wind was very weak, we tried tacking against the wind, but it was too slow. A dolphin came to check out if he can ride our bow wave, but he decided we are too slow. So we motored most of the way.

The town of St. Francois is nice, the fishing harbor and the streets around it are colorful.

 French connection
We are still without the phone, Smobil doesn't have roaming contract with any providers here in Guadeloupe nor in Martinique. Our phone will work again on Dominica. Write an e-mail instead of a phone call. We try to get our hardware on land and find an internet place at least once a week - it is not so easy as in Antigua though.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Passage to Guadeloupe

We left Montserrat on Wednesday morning. It was windy and rainy, i had the feeling as being on Atlantic again. We sailed around the north part of the island to have the wind at better angle, but it was still close reach (orca po slovensko). We were lucky to see the peak of the volcano for a couple of moments when the clouds weren't sitting on top of it.

With 25 knots of wind on average, gusting to 35, we reached Deshaies on Guadeloupe already on early afternoon. Weather remained the same, we saw again couple of boats dragging through the Deshaies anchorage because of the strong wind.

And now here we are in France,  with all good food and drinks and pretty shops where you can spend a lot of money... But the biggest disappointment is the fact, that our phone is not working here. I sent mail to Simobil,  but am not expecting the answer before Monday. So, if you wanted to call us, you can't at the moment. But we will try to get to internet as often as we can.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


 We left Antigua on early Friday morning. It was cloudy with some rain and first  two hours we motored because the lack of wind. Later on the wind picked up and we had some good sailing for the rest of the way. 

We arrived in Little Bay early an afternoon and were greeted by coastguard directing us to Randezvous bay, next bay to the north. Prinz Edward and his wife were visiting the island with big military ship and they needed Little Bay for the official stuff. It wasn't a problem at all, just look how beautiful our anchorage was. Below is Randezvous bluff with tropic birds and falcons nesting in the rocks, to the right you can see a part of Little bay and on the next picture is a Randezvous bay with the only white-sand beach on Montserrat.


In the afternoon our friends, Marion and Harald sailed over from ST.Kitts and we had a nice evening together. And made a plan to do the island tour the next day.

I was really curious about the island, having seen a part of it from air. North west part is steep, lush and green, dotted with villages and narrow roads.

Our driver and guide was Joe Phillip, a legend among taxi drivers on the island. He has great knowledge about the life on the island, people, volcano, about how it was before, and is willing to share it with his guests.

One of our first destinations was AIR studios, that Sir George Martin, former Beatles producer, built in 1978. A lot of world famous artists, like Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton, Police etc. recorded there. The era of recording studio came to an end in 1989, when hurricane Hugo destroyed studio power generator.

This is the entrance to the studio.

And lovely view over the pool towards the west.

The inside of the main apartment.

To me it was a big deal walking through the recording rooms, where "Ebony and ivory" and "Every little thing she does is magic" were recorded. This was the music i grew up with.

The volcano was relatively quiet lately, so we were allowed to come pretty close to Plymouth, former capital. Nevertheless, there were signs reminding us we were in dangerous area.

This is a part of a road near Plymouth.

And the view towards volcano.

Marion, Harald and myself listening attentively to Joe's explanation.

And captain also...

The remains of the hotel near Plymouth

This was once the pool with great view to the east and south

The rooms are fool of volcano ashes

We then drove towards western coast, where the volcanic flow filled the valey with rocks and ashes and destroyed a golf course on it's path.

Most of the buildings are buried under 30 feet of ashes.....

This was a 3-stories house at the edge of the golf course.

This is how it used to look.

The great thing about touring with Joe is also his collection of photos of places and buildings as they used to be, so one can see the changes and devastation volcano made.

On our way we saw iguanas ....
... and falcons.

After busy day we all deserved a snack - we had a grilled chicken prepared by the nice lady on the photo.

I highly recommend tour with Joe, it was fun and filled with information we wouldn't have heard otherwise. If you ever get to Montserrat, you can contact him on VHF ch 8, call sign Avalon, or on phone  1-(664)-492-1565 or by e-mail .

We stayed  on the island until Wednesday, the weather  was to wild to sail on earlier - Marion and Harald tried sailing away on Sunday and they got 40 knots of wind with gusts to 50 on the southern side of Montserrat, so they came back. The rest of the days we were swimming, snorkeling, spending time with our friends, watching the birds... It was great, just the swell in the anchorage was getting worse and worse, otherwise we might stayed there longer.

But we will return. We have to, you see - we all have been drinking from that stream that has the power to make you come back over and over again....