The rest of Guadaloupe
08 December 2017 | Le Bourg Guadaloupe
The snorkellers amongst the crew snorkelled in Jacques Cousteau Marine Park around Pigeon Island. They didn't see the submerged sculpture of Jacques but they did see fish and coral. Jacques apparently said the park is in the top ten diving places in the world, but our snorkellers rated the Great Barrier Reef, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands, PNG and others ahead.
On to Iles des Saintes. And how beautiful these tiny islands off the coast of
Guadaloupe are, even after the effects of Hurricane Maria which seems to have taken off a number of the red rooves. Spick and span by Caribbean standards, settled by fisher folk from Brittany and never having slavery because they had no sugar. We went ashore after a vigorous sail to have a look around, and had a quick drink before we returned to the boat to get ready for dinner in one of the many attractive looking French restaurants ashore. Unfortunately the rum punch Margot, Beth and I ordered was so potent that the guys, who had only a beer or two, were required to escort us back to the dinghy. I will never have a rum punch again, at least not one with half a bottle of rum per glass. (The photo is the view from the rum bar of a Danish sailing ship.)
The meal at La Fringale was excellent, with duck tagine and local freshwater crayfish being the standouts. The next day we toured the island, visiting Fort Napoleon which faces Fort Josephine on the opposite island. The museum in the fort featured the battle of 1666 between the French and the English, which the French claim as a victory though the English fleet was destroyed by storms. The battle of 1782 was also covered, where Sir Rodney defeated the French Admiral De Grasse. After all that touring, we needed a fortifying three course prix fixe lunch at 1 Ti Bo Doudou, a restaurant right on the sea's edge, with a sand floor. The meal was made by "top local chef", Chicken George, and was also most delicious as well as beautiful to look at.