30 January 2013

Breakfast view

Since we're sailing the Caribbean chain up north again it's fun to taste new food on every island. While in Grenada we loved Nutmeg Jam for breakfast. Now we discovered Guava Preserve which is delicious either on a fresh baguette or on whole wheat bread with some butter - let's see how long it takes until we'll find something new.
Of course it tastes even better with a view like the one we currently have from our Habibi in Falmouth Harbor...

entrance to Falmouth Harbour 

turquoise water

Caribbean flair with palm trees

BIG boats docked in Falmouth Harbour Marina
From paradise with love

25 January 2013

Hiking Deshaies River

Hiking in Deshaies River

I just realized that we only spent two weeks in Guadeloupe but it feels as we'd stayed much longer. Maybe because we already have been to some places before on our way South towards Grenada and it wasn't all new to us.

Pointe-a-Pitre anchorage

It was the first time that we went to Pointe-a-Pitre, the largest city of Guadeloupe (but not the capital). There we found a rather calm anchorage with a lot of room. Even though it's in vicinity of the city and its commercial harbor it was peaceful and quiet. It was very interesting to watch all kind of big boats and cruise ships passing and how they're loading container ships. On a road trip we explored some of the tourist places on Grand-Terre like Sainte-Anne and Saint-Francois, went to the eastern most spot from where you can see the island Les Desirade off the windward coast. This part of the island is flat, rather dry and rural. Basse-Terre-Island is the other part of Guadeloupe which is volcanic and therefore mountainous, consists of lush forests, grassland and plantations. Even though Guadeloupe is part of France we find it has more Creole and Indian influence than for example Martinique. You see and hear more Creole everywhere you go. For example we encountered the word "Karukera" quite often. I found out that's what the Arawak people (the first who settled here) called Guadeloupe and it means "the island of beautiful waters" - how poetic.


Our last stop is Deshaies, a charming fishing village with a beautiful anchorage on the Northwest coast of Basse-Terre-Island where we've spent some days before. On our (maybe more on my) list was the hike up the Deshaies River which is described in our guide. Yesterday we went and it was an experience that's not to be missed. You more or less walk in the river, not in the water though as you can step from one rock to the other while you pass countless pools. It's not the easiest hike and while underway we both had the same thought: what if one of us hurts himself? We didn't have a mobile phone with us, nobody knew where we went and we didn't encounter another soul for two hours. I guess, that's part of the adventure! ;-)

Who is interested can find more pictures on our facebook site.

From paradise with love

11 January 2013

time to say goodbye

After three! weeks in Dominica we're going to use the weather window that's opening up on Saturday/Sunday to head towards Guadeloupe. First stop will be Les Saintes - hopefully we'll be able to sink our teeth in a warm baguette fresh out of the oven! The next day we're going to sail to Pointe-à-Pitre, the biggest town in Guadeloupe. There we hopefully will be well sheltered from the big North swell that is predicted for next week.

We can't point out enough how much we liked Dominica and its people. Our expectations have been exceeded in more than just one point. We have encountered so many lovely, helpful, happy people everywhere we went. Of course, some of them wanted to sell a service. But when they realized that there won't be any business they didn't push and remained friendly - unlike on other islands in the Caribbean. It happened more than once, when a drunkard begged for some coins that another person stepped in and told him to stop bothering us.
During three days we explored the island with a rental car. The streets are just amazingly new and in excellent shape! Thanks to the EU and the Chinese but who cares? Only when we went deep into the rainforest some streets turned into muddy roads - no surprise after all that rain! The island is visibly clean and it seems that the people really care to keep it this way. We came across No-littering-signs everywhere. And during this three days we never worried to leave our boat unattended. In the anchorage in Prince Rupert Bay in Portsmouth the PAYS guys do a great job to make cruisers feel welcome and safe - we especially can recommend the service of Martin on his boat Providence.
The hiking trails are amazing and leading through the lushest nature we've seen, the snorkeling is great and life (food, drinks, eating out etc.) is reasonable in comparison to the French islands.
Did we find paradise? I guess we got really close!

With love from paradise

07 January 2013

crazy weather!

Wind speed in knots for tomorrow. We prefer the blue colors...
picture courtesy of www.passageweather.com

When you're following our facebook page you already know that we extended our stay in Dominica due to a bad weather pattern. Actually it's been CRAZY the last few days! 
Within minutes it can change from blue sky and calm to heavy rain and gusts up to 40 knots - the three pictures were captured this morning withing a period of 20 min. We don't want to imagine the conditions offshore with seas up to 3.5m/12ft... 
It's no secrect: during summer they have Hurricanes and during winter the so called "Christmas winds" in the Caribbean. Here's an excerpt from doyleguides website: In the winter season a big high-pressure area to our northeast is a dominant feature. When the isobars get tight, the wind increases and is sometimes very fresh (25-30 knots). We call these Christmas winds.
It looks like it's going to "calm" down a little by the coming weekend which would give us an opportunity to move on to Guadeloupe. 

typical squall with gusts and rain

we've seen hundreds of rainbows in the Caribbean...
rain again, this time in the far back over the mountains

In the meantime we are not bored at all. During three days we've been exploring the island's beauty inland by rental car. The following two days are predicted to be the worst so we'll probably stay on the boat, tick some boat jobs from the list or just hang out with a good book or watch a movie. 
We have to admit that for a short period of time we've been tempted to lift anchor and rush towards Guadeloupe. But we're very happy that we stayed. There is so much to see and do, people are so friendly and helpful. Dominica and its people surprised us in so many ways, the list would be endless!

With love from paradise