The archipelago of Guadeloupe
, allows the navigation from islands to islands close to them, among others, the discovery of bay of “Les Saintes”
, one of the wonders of the West Indies.
Sailing round 1 Pointe à Pitre - Petite Terre - Marie Galante - Les Saintes
A first day of navigation takes you to the heart of the Petite Terre nature reserve, two islands at the door of the Atlantic ocean that will be a delight for the amateur of nature thanks to the richness of its fauna & flora. This stage will be taken into advantage to admire the southern coast of Grande Terre which will be travelled along very close to it in order to take cover from the stream of Les Saintes canal.
The stage (Pointe à Pitre – Petite Terre) is long enough (count 7 or 8 hours of navigation). Likewise, you can stop at Sainte Anne or Saint-François both offering a splendid lagoon with well-sheltered turquoise water. Saint François also has a marina to get fresh supplies. Arrived at the area around La Pointe des Châteaux, be on course for the south-east towards Petite Terre lagoon. Be careful ! the pass of Petite Terre which gives access to its lagoon is not very deep and exposed to northern swells. So we advise you to be informed of sea conditions before going there. Ideally, you should be accompanied by somebody who well knows the place. In Petite Terre lagoon, the anchorage is forbidden because of the nature reserve but a number of white buoys is reserved for amateur sailors whot want to stop there, the buoys marked blue and white are reserved for professionals that come from Saint francois to Petite Terre every day. On the spot, the nature reserve offers an amazing spectacle as well ashore with iguanas as turtles and sleeping sharks at sea.
From Petite Terre 3 to 4 hours of downwind sailing are enough to rejoin Marie-Galante and its numerous anchorages around Saint Louis namely Anse Canot or Folle Anse and their attractive white-sand beaches. One will be able to drop anchor in front of the charming town of Saint Louis in which you can feed you and do some shopping.
The stage from Marie-Galante to Les Saintes looks like the previous one as its a short downwind sailing before the wind which last 3 hours. We arrive at the bay of Les Saintes which takes part from the exclusive club of the most beautiful bay in the world. Les Saintes deseve certainly to be visited during a few days that is for discovering life in the borough of Terre de Haut or enjoying Pain de Sucre or Cabri islet anchorages and their splendid coral beds.
Finally, back to Pointe à Pitre. You will travel along the windward coast of Basse Terre with a clear sight on the Soufrière volcano. It can take 3 short hours with a good south-est wind but it can turn out to be longest with the north-east one forcing you to tack in order to overtake the headland of Capesterre. If the coast is clear until the headland of Capesterre, the navigator will be very vigilant to the obstacles which mark out the end of the travel to Pointe à Pitre.
Sailing round 2 : Tour of Basse Terre
The second sailing round offers to sail around Basse Terre, the left wing of the butterfly-island meaning Guadeloupe. Departure in the night from the Marina of Pointe à Pitre to anchor in front of the bridge of “ La Gabarre” and wait for its opening to boats at 5.00 a.m to cross “La rivière salée” which separate Grande Terre and Basse Terre. This is early but being present at the sunrise in the river is worth this effort.Then, you should follow the well-marked channel until Fajou Islet and the beginning of healthy water. This channel meandering the large sea cul-de-sac is well marked but it is surrounded by reefs. As the buoys are relatively distant the sailor will be very attentive to be aligned, the slightest move can be fatal. At the channel exit 2 options are offered : the Port Louis anchorage which is worth going out of your way to see to appreciate the charming village of fischerman and its splendid beach called ‘ Souffleur”, a little in the north of the village or the one of Deshaies, there is another village of fischerman but the geography is completely different at the bottom of the mountains and tropical forest.
For the next stage, Travelling along the leeward coast which is considered as the most beautiful place of Guadeloupe by many people as well covered by the forest and surrounded by black-sandy beaches, the only possibilities of mooring are Malendure beach, one of the most beatiful black-sandy beach of the island and Pigeon Islet just next to it. This is a sub-marine reserve that will delight the amateurs of snorkelling. Please note that the anchorage is forbidden but buoys are available there. Down to Pigeon islet we can also mention that “l’Anse à la Barque” whose entry is marked by the lighthouse offers a well-sheltered mooring.
From there it is possible to stopover to Les Saintes which is very close from it. It is not so easy to reach Les Saintes due to unsuitable winds and streams or sail back directly towards Pointe à Pitre by traveling along the windward coast of Basse Terre.
source des cartes: www.shom.fr