Cousteau Marine Park
23 January 2017
When we were growing up, Jacques Cousteau was the man who brought the world under the sea to TV screens across the world. On the west coast of Guadeloupe, at Pigeon Island, is the Cousteau Marine Park, where Jacques himself had declared the area of great importance and we just had to go there.
After a fantastic sail from Pointe a Pitre and an overnight at anchor at Basse-Terre, we arrived at Pigeon Island and dropped the anchor for a couple of days. Just snorkelling off the boat was great with turtles swimming around. Although we jumped out quick at one point as we were cleaning under the hull and what looked like a shark came over and nestled up against the keel. We took some photos and are now not so convinced that is was a shark but we don't know what it was either.
Next morning, before the day tripper boats arrived, we took the dinghy over to the marine park and tied to one of the boat buoys whilst we explored the area. As soon as we jumped in, we were in another world, and surrounded by lots of fish. Some were familiar to us but lots were new. The water was crystal clear and very calm which enabled us to see everything clearly.
Just like when we were in the Saintes, a shoal of Blue Tang's swam past but this time I had my camera ready and took a video of them. If I can ever work out how to put this on the blog, I will. It was wonderful.
Not only were the fish fantastic as they munched away looking for their breakfast, but the corals, sponges and plants there were mesmerising too.
Friends of ours had passed through there the previous week but with different weather, had had a completely different experience. If we hadn't stopped to get the fridge and other stuff fixed, we would have been there at the same time and would have missed out on a great experience.
No charge to go to marine park.
Anchor depths were much more than our chart indicated.
Leader Price & Carrefour supermarket next to the fisherman's tiny harbour, about ½ mile south of anchorage. Self-service laundry there too.