Thursday, September 22, 2005

Sailing Guadeloupe in August

Savvy bareboat charter sailors have known for quite some time that the summer season in the Caribbean offers opportunity in the way of significant discounts on boats, uncrowded anchorages, room at the beach bars, cheap flights and the undying gratitude of islanders who depend on you through the slow summer months. Here’s a great read from a UK man who chartered a 45’ sloop through Sunsail for two weeks in Guadeloupe. Guadeloupe is French speaking territory and through some of the adventures he recounts – including anchoring challenges, poisonous berries and close encounters with still active volcano, La Soufrière – it’s clear that if you have a few pounds, a rudimentary knowledge of sailing and some willing hands Guadeloupe in the summer can be a delight. Not to mention there’s room for a history lesson – the author discusses their sail to the Iles des Saintes (lushly green and mostly uninhabited). They sail through the Passe de la Baleine to the main island of Terre de Haut, “…where the French General de Grasse saw his entire fleet wiped out by the British on 4 April 1792. The British and French fought frequently for control of Guadeloupe for 200 years, at one time the French surrendering their rights to Canada in exchange for these islands.”

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