Sailors with their own cruising boats are not the only ones to benefit from the privilege of anchorages in beautiful turquoise water. Day charters are also available from Guadeloupe for those visiting who want a closer look at paradise.
Try the Saints, Marie Galante, Petite Terre… or even head down to Dominica. Which destination to choose? E
ach is different with its own charm and you will probably want to try them all. T o give a taste , here are sample day charter itineraries currently available:
The Saints: Here, you can discover the windward side of Basse Terre and the Saints Channel. Arrive in the town of Terre de Haut; w ander the village scattered with pretty Saintois shacks , and admire the Baie des Saintes (reputedly the 3rd most beautiful bay in the world) or Fort Napoleon. Back on board, anchor at Pain de Sucre for a Planter’s Punch followed by lunch (perhaps c rudites, grilled fish, tropical fruit, along with mineral water and, of course, wine.) Swim or snorkel, then head back home.
Marie Galante: Leave Sainte Anne early, around 7 : 45 a.m. After roughly 1 ½ hours sailing, anchor in the Bay of Saint Louis, bordered by a huge beach, or the coast at Vieux Fort at Anse Canot. Around 10 a.m., leave by bus to visit the island which has an ancient historical charm. From St Louis to Grand Bourg (with a stop at the market), passing by the Habitation Murat with its botanical garden, Capesterre, the windmill at Bezard, the deserted white sand beaches and the sugar cane fields. Take lunch on the boat followed by swimming, or a walk on the beach. Return at 3.30 p.m.
Petite Terre: Leave the Marina at Saint Francoise at 8.45 a.m. After one hour and 15 minutes of sailing, anchor off Terre de Haut and Terre de Bas in the turquoise lagoon, a natural paradise that is a nature reserve (ONF) with protected flora and fauna. Wander on the white sand fringed by coconut trees by t he lagoon, well protected by a reef with some magnificent coral formations rich in multicolored fish, turtles and sponges—all have made Petite Terre a divers’ paradise. After lunch, visit the nature reserve and stroll inland pathways to observe iguanas, hermit crabs, and land crabs, the only inhabitants of the island apart from the sea birds and turtles.
Dominica: For a full day, l eave at 7 a.m. from the Marina at Pointe a Pitre. After three hours of sailing, arrive at the lush, natural island. Anchor in the bay at Prince Rupert where canoes with names like ‘Dede’, ‘Spaghetti’, ‘Cobra’ or ‘Uncle Sam’ will take you for a trip up the Indian River. Paddling silently, rasta guides will point out flora and fauna which particular to this mangrove area. Return to the fishing village at Tukulu for lunch. In the afternoon, swim or dive with fins . Return around 3.30 p.m.
If you have your own boat and will be cruising the French islands, these programs can guide your choice of side trips. Or, if you plan to be in Guadeloupe and want more information from a tour operator offering day sails, visit www.croisieres-antilles.com or one of the other operators’ sites. W eekly cruises are also organized from Guadeloupe in the direction of Dominica and Antigua.