Thursday, November 19, 2015

Deshaies as a destination

Hello Dear Reader!
We left you in Montserrat where we looked Soufriere in the face and survived.  It really wasn't that dramatic!

The sail to Deshaies was nice, great angle on the wind and good speed.  Quite dramatic seeing the old Montserrat airport complete burned out from the '97 eruptions.  It is all covered in ash... but you can kind of make out structures that survived.  Caught dinner... some kind of fish.. not really sure what.

The old airport - buried under tons of debris

Steam vents
We've been through Deshaies a number of times but only as a point of transit... check-in to France going south to Dominica or check-out going north to Antigua.  So this time was different.  We aren't really going anywhere right now so we decided to make Deshaies our destination and explore.

They have nice, free mooring buoys in Deshaies, and during the season they are mostly full of local fishing boats, dive boats, tour boats... but this time we got one!  Woooo hooooo!

Our neighbour - how to get back to Italy?  Turn right after Bermuda?

Pam's picture window

Hmmm, this dock doesn't have a deck.

Tourist in Deshaies

Blue Pearl on a mooring buoy
Pam has talked a number of times about going to the Botanical Gardens but I've always been a stick-in-the-mud about it.  So this time we decided to go.  It was only 1.4 km so we decided to walk.  So, this was 1.4 km of pure hell.  Straight up, 35 Celsius.  About 10 switchbacks to allow cars (probably airconditioned) to make it up this formidable incline.

When we got there we were completely spent... red-faced, puffing and ready for a rest.  So we sat on a bench and fed the ravenous koi while we caught our breath.  The garden is amazing and really well done.  Worth a visit - even with the heart-stopping climb.  Apparently they will pick you up from the bottom of the hill but that would be for sissies.

Now Mike, that's a lot of Koi!

Mutt and Jeff

Koi Fu Fighters

Deshaies parrot

Ooooooh my Precious, you've got some syrup for me?

Botanical Gardens Oasis
In 1997, with our whole family, we chartered a boat out of Point a Pitre and sailed around the area... Les Saintes, Dominica, Marie Gallant and various places on Guadeloupe including Deshaies.  So we've been there before.  Point a Pitre is quite a way from Deshaies but we thought it would be cool to go back to where we chartered way back then.

So we took the bus from Deshaies into Point a Pitre - 4 euro each way.  We got there to find a busy city... not really great for exploring in 35 C temperatures, so after walking about for an hour, we ate a Botik (pita pocket?) from a local vendor and climbed back on the bus.

Bus on the motorway

Centre Ville

Side street
After 6 days away from our great spot in Five Islands Bay near Jolly Harbour, Antigua we decided it was time to come "home."  Had a great sail (about 6.5 knots all the way) and caught two small mahi.  So we are good for fish tacos until our next fishing adventure.  I used my fish-cleaning skills honed at BIMPYs on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia.

We're doing 6.5 and feeling good until he passes us doing 12

Mahi 1

Mahi 2
Settling in to do more boat chores.  Some of the teak, mostly on the starboard side, didn't fare well over the summer so we are doing damage control on the varnish.

More later!

Blue Pearl

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