Thursday, January 31, 2013

Deshaies, Guadeloup

Friday, January 25 - Sunday, January 27

We left the Jolly Harbor marina early Friday and sailed to the French island, Guadeloupe. It took us about 5 hours to sail there, but unfortunately we didn't catch any fish. We arrived in Deshaies (pronounced Day-ay) that night and went to shore to check into customs at Le Pelican. All the customs check-ins in Guadeloupe are via computer, and there are a few places on the island that charge a fee where you can check in. We walked around the fishing village of Deshaies after checking in, perusing through the shops, and realized that very few people in the village speak English, and those that do speak only a few phrases. Also, there didn't seem to be any English speaking tourists or other cruisers. So Gene and I definitely were feeling out of our element!

Sailing into Deshaies Bay

Cafe on the beach

Kalalau at anchor in the bay

We did a river hike on Saturday that we had read about in our cruising guide. The trail takes you up along the river with a few crossings to a waterfall. We had a really hard time trying to find the trail. There were a lot of places where we thought we found the trail, but then ended up at a dead end. We attempted scrambling up the river via the boulders, but they were really slippery. Ultimately we ended up turning around after two hours. We did see some small waterfalls and some nice pools which Gene swam in. On the way back, we ended up finding the trail which actually cuts into the rainforest away from the river then winds back, so we were pretty far off.

Deshaies River leading out to the ocean

Kat trying to blaze a trail along the river

One of many natural swimming holes along the river

That night we went to dinner at La Savane. Just trying to order was adventure in itself since none of the staff spoke English! We memorized a few key phrases before leaving the boat that night, so we were able to get by. After a couple bottles of wine, we paid our bill (l'addition, sil vous plait), then strolled down the road and went into a little bar that had live music. The place was packed, so we ended up getting a table just outside of the restaurant. We had a couple of drinks and chatted with some of the locals using some of the phrases we just learned. We gave them a good laugh – I'm sure we were way off with a lot of our pronunciation. The night ended with Gene and I meeting the local musician after he finished playing, and him teaching Gene his complicated hand shake.

View of Deshaies from our anchorage

Deshaies sunset

We woke up to a stormy Sunday morning. The rain didn't stop once the entire day, which was fine with us. We stayed inside the boat watching movies all day and recovering from our great night out in Deshaies.

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