Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It's Heaven in Les Saintes!

It's been four years since we were last in Les Saintes but we've always thought of it as one of our favorites. And our good friends Benno & Marlena on "Diesel Duck" were joining us there - again! It's been several years since we saw them last (in Shelter Bay, Panama) and since then they've circumnavigated South America. They are one of the few trawlers to round Cape Horn with only a couple on board.

That's "Diesel Duck here with Marlena and Benno on the bow waving to us. This is a seaworthy vessel for sure, but terribly cute too! They completed a world circumnavigation in a sailboat many years ago and then went back to work in Canada for years. There they bought hull #1 of this design and completed the additional work themselves.

They were part of the group that left Georgetown, Bahamas together four years ago and most of whom have stayed friends since:"Dreamtime", "Casa del Mar", and "Neriera" were also part of that flotilla. Marlena & Benno had just spent time with Linda & Ed on "Dreamtime" and we were meeting up with them next in St. Martin.

It was a fast reach sailing from Dominica - a real pleasure! The charming red roofed town on the largest of the island group circles a well protected harbor. This is a real fisherman's town and hundreds of colorful boats line the beaches. Nets drying in the sun frame the view below. The bakery opens very early and Scott was off before 7 to pick up the morning's croissants.

It's hard not to pick up several other items there, at least a baguette! The grocery stores are small but between them we managed most of our needs. Walking through the small but charming town is fun with, during the day, lots of people over from Guadeloupe on the ferry. In the evenings it's quieter but still there are lots of different choices for a nice dinner.

Marlena joined us for a mornings walk over to NNN bay on the windward side. This small harbor is protected on almost all sides with a good entrance in past the reefs but is boats are prohibited from using it. There is a public beach and camping there and they want to keep it pristine. It is possible to walk around the narrow rocky beach at the end and swim the shallow inlet to the island that lies opposite the long sand beach. A prominent trail crosses both peaks and provides lovely views.

We changed out of our wet clothes after a fresh water shower (1 Euro) behind trees and then had a great lunch at the small restaurant up the hill to the right just before the entrance to the park. The 3 course "menu" is very reasonable at lunch with several choices of appetizer, main course and dessert.

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