I’m sitting at the navigation table inside Detour, having not yet opened the main hatch for fear that the intrusion of sunlight will coax me outside for yet another beautiful, Caribbean day. Today’s agenda: snorkeling at Pigeon Island, Guadaloupe. But we must not snorkel too early, better to wait for the heat of mid-day so we can bask in the respite of the water. Pigeon Island is a protected area, part of Guadeloupe National Park. Jacques Cousteau dove here, it was apparently one of his favorite sites. Eager tourists are already swimming past my porthole; splashing flippered feet push little snorkels poking out of the water and I wonder what they are spotting within the anchorage. Looking down from Detour‘s deck I clearly see only sand, our anchor chain, and the occasionally passing sea turtle. This lazy morning, already hot with no hint of a breeze, must be the definition of ‘island time.’ Most people venture to the Caribbean to unwind, slow down time, and relax amidst the beauty of a white sand beach with a breezy palm overhead.
I’m not most people, however, and during these past several weeks in the Caribbean my version of ‘island time’ has been all GO! GO! GO! trying to squeeze into the day (often extending into the night since the sun sets terribly early) as many activities as possible amidst a social frenzy of fabulous friends. We’ve spent most of our time on the islands of Guadeloupe and Dominica; both of which have lush interiors, delicious foods, and pleasant people. Now, armed with a fully reloaded data connection, I’ve finally a moment to share some of these adventures before the lazy day continues.
The first of many reunions, to begin the excitement at Guadeloupe, was a visit from our friends, Chis and Helene. We’d met in Portugal, and spent time sailing and exploring together in the Canaria Islands while Chris and Helene were crew aboard S/Y Mira Polaris. They’d left the water for a bit of land travel through the Caribbean; first stop, a Detour, and they’d found themselves back aboard a boat! We had a great evening sharing good food and catching up, and then a fully day of sailing, snorkeling, and more tasty treats before we bid farewell…until we see these world travelers again!
A grand view of Grande-Terre! During one of many fabulous days spent with Dennis, Candace, and Malcolm during their Caribbean vacation, we hiked out to the easternmost point of Grande-Terre. Afterward, we had a delicious roadside lunch of bokits (savory sandwich tucked between a large, fried-dough like pita), acras (fried dough and cod balls), and the most delicious pina coladas ever!
A day aboard Detour with some of our favorite sailors; out to Fortune Island for lunch and swimming, finally Captain Dennis was able to kick back and take a break while someone else did the sailing!
Jungle fever at Basse-Terre! Dennis, Candace, and Malcolm hiked with us to the Chutes de Carbet.
During our first visit at Guadeloupe, the celebration of Carnaval occurred. The Carnaval festival, more familiar to us as Mardi Gras, filled the streets throughout the island with excitement; music, costume, and cracking of whips for five crazy days and nights! We attended the Pointe-a-Pitre parade with friends, Patti and Rob (S/Y Tilly Whim).
We had very happy reunion at Pointe-a-Pitre with our sailing friend, Peter (S/V Onapua), whom we’d met during 2014 on the eastern coast of the USA. We’d gotten word through the sailors’ grapevine that Peter was in the area, and we caught up with him just in time as he moves his Westsail quickly! Peter joined us for lunch, along with Patti and Rob (Patti and Peter also knew one another from years prior). Peter regaled us with tales of his Caribbean travels, and of course we reminisced about the days when we’d sailed our Westsail, ‘Rode Trip.’ It was incredible to be with everyone at the same table sharing worldly experiences like ‘ol salts!
We had the opportunity to visit with our good friend, Timo, once again at Pointe-a-Pitre when the cruise ship Mein Shif 5 arrived in the harbour. We strolled the city’s streets with Timo, he relaxed during this break from his work aboard the ship; all the while we talked of sailing stories and future plans. We are looking forward to our next port of call!
Island time is tickin’ away…as I relive and share these many, fantastic moments that have comprised our past few weeks, I wish we could slow down time because it’s all happening so fast!