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Captain Log ID: 279
Title: Guadeloupe
Boat Name(Id): Blue Jacket ( 58)
Sailor Name(Id): Geoff Schultz ( 306)
Geo Region: Caribbean Chain
Date of Occurance: 2001-03-01
Latitude: N 16º   11.94'
Longitude: W 61º   30'
Sender (if email-in):
Earlier log from "Blue Jacket":  278
Newer log from "Blue Jacket":  280
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Guadeloupe, February 25 - March 7, 2001

Overall Guadeloupe is a very lush, beautiful island. It's divided into 2 sides; a mountainous side and a flat side. The trip so far has been on the mountainous side, but when my niece Amy arrives later today, we'll head to the flat side. Amy's French speaking/menu translating abilities will be greatly appreciated as very few people speak English.

Off the western coast near the town of Pigeon there's the Cousteau underwater where you can pick up a mooring ball and dive/snorkel. It's beautiful, but tons of glass bottom snorkeling boats come in here too. I was non-pulsed by the reefs, but that may have been because the good stuff was on the windward side and it was too rough to explore. However, just to the N side of Pigeon Bay is a reef that was one of the most alive reefs that I've seen. And it's just a 5 minute walk from the docks where the snorkeling boats leave from...

Anse a la BarqueJust S of Pigeon lies Anse a la Barque, which is a well protected anchorage surrounded by cliffs with a very pretty palm tree lined rough beach. The main road circles the bay and I think that it's used by the locals to train for Nascar. :-) It's quite amusing to watch them pass one another, sometimes 3 cars wide, as they zoom up and down the hills. I hope that all is well with you and that spring arrives soon!

Amy & GeoffWhen I last wrote I was awaiting the arrival of my niece, Amy, and had just finished exploring the western coast of Guadeloupe and the Saints. Amy arrived into Point A' Pitre (PP), which is Guadeloupe's largest city. Guadeloupe looks like a butterfly, with PP at the bottom of the body. The left (western) side is highly mountainous where as the right (eastern) side is relatively flat. And like Greenland/Iceland, the sides are named opposite of their terrain.

The island is VERY French. They totally embrace everything French; language, food, products, etc. Very few people admit to speaking any English. Supermarkets are stocked with only French products. They only have French wines, and just reds at that! And forget about finding normal pasteurized milk. You can only get boxed milk.

Anyhow, PP is a large city. Congested, dirty, and all of the things that go with being large. The day after Amy arrived we moved the boat an entire 3 miles down the coast to a little island called Gossier, which is very popular with the locals on the weekends. It had nice clear water, sandy beaches with nice shade (important for a girl from CO who was very white), and a New England style lighthouse. A great way to start the trip.

Inside Longueteau Rum FactoryAfter that we worked the boat down the coast to St. Francois, where we rented a car to explore the interior of Guadeloupe. The highlights of that day had to have been the rum factory, the 360' Les Chutes waterfall, the black & white cemetery, and the black sand beaches. I made a big mistake in underestimating the size of the island, and we spent too much time driving & not enough outside of the car. They do have a great road system.

At the Longueteau rum factory they let you just wander around the plant unsupervised, and there are tons of ancient steam powered machines that could definitely hurt you. But it was really cool. We also got to sample their rums, including their 124 proof rum that I think doubles as carburetor cleaner!

Les ChutesTo reach the Les Chutes waterfall, you hike through rain forest where everything is huge. 3 to 4' leaves; massive trees. You really feel like you're in "Honey, I shrank the kids." As you approach you can see the top 377' waterfall cascading down to the next 360' waterfall, and then to a pool at the bottom. WOW!

In Morne-a'-l'Eau they have a massive cemetery that's built onto the side of a hill. Each family plot has a crypt that's 1 to 3 stories tall and is ornately decorated in black and white tiles. Some of these could be mini-condos, and it's rumored that some are air conditioned! :-) It's an amazing site...

From Guadeloupe it was on to Marie Galant which is a large island off the SE coast. Great snorkeling & beaches. That night we went for a swim under a full moon in water that could only be described as looking like the patterns & color of a swimming pool at night. Spectacular!

Then it was on to Dominica, where there are more bananas than you can imagine. The entire island is covered in banana trees and coconut trees. It's a poor island with lots of people offering their services, which gets tiring. But it's amazingly green, with exotic flowers growing wild by the road side. Oh, and Rosta's...

That's all that I have space for. Hope all is well.

For more photos, please visit my web site at and select "2001 Sailing".