I had really enjoyed my stay in Dominica, only my deadline for being on Antigua stopped me from staying longer and doing more exploring of the interior.
There had been rain overnight, but it had cleared by early morning when I raised the anchor at Portsmouth and headed out towards the Dominican channel. There was a light breeze at first which strengthened to between 15 to 18 knots. Sea Bear romped along and just over 3 hours later we entered the Passage du Sud-Ouest and passed between the rocks of les Augustins and the island of Terre-de-Bas of Les Saintes. Here the wind was gusting to 25 knots so we were down to 2 reefs in the main and the staysail. Soon enough though we were picking up mooring bouy in Anse de Bourg on Terre-de-Haute. Fortunately another boater saw my firts attempt to pass a line through t he ring thawted by an untimely gust and hopped in his tender and helped me secure my line. Many thanks to that man.
Formalities ashore soon completed thanks to the computerised French system, you just fill in your details yourself, print out the form, sign it and get them to countersign it.
The town is very pretty but almost overrun by tourists who visit via the fast ferry from Guadeloupe.
Next morning I walked over to Baie de Pt Pierre for a swim, a beautiful sandy beach with coconut palm trees. It’s also one of the beaches that turtles come ashore to lay their eggs. No sign of them of course, they do it at night.
I crossed the next day to Guadeloupe itself. Coming past the top of Ilet a Cabrit I had to watch out for the fishermen setting some nets, Done with their fast “santoises” but they amaze me by swimming alongside the nets, something I also saw in Dominica. Bear in mind too this is open water with sizeable waves a mile or so offshore.
With a lovely fresh beam wind I saw the log record a speed of 7.6 knots at one point, very good going for little old Sea Bear. Past the lighthouse on Pte du Vieux Fort, the wind fell light and the seas flatter until eventually faced with a flat calm I resorted to some motoring, then sailing then motoring. Eventually we dropped the hook in Anse de la Barque, a nice little cove with a palm fringed beach but apart from the road passing by nothing else. I took a swim around the boat, bold for me this swimming when I am out of my depth.
Carrying on up the coast next day we passed Bouillante, with it plumes of steam and then Pigeon island, which is Reserve Cousteau, a marine reserve. Arrived at Anse Deshaies and anchored.
A nice little place this, a dinghy dock, some beach front restaurants a few shops, oh and home of Madame Sorbet who sells delicious homemade ice cream from the back of her van in the afternoons. Saw more turtles swimming in the bay here.