Known by the Caribs as Karukera (Island of Pretty Waters), it is part of France. Yes, they speak French and we don’t! That has been a challenge for us but it is so worth it, the island or we should say islands are beautiful! It is called the butterfly island because the shape of the two main islands look like a butterfly with a narrow mangrove channel that separates them. Then there are also several small islands just off of the coastline.
We sailed into Deshaies where we cleared in and then it was off to the famous Jacque Cousteau’s National Park and Piegon Island. The snorkeling here was fablous! We anchored Moon close to the mainland and paddled over to the island where it was full of tourists. There are several companies that rent kayaks and there were lots of people there. It was still nice though and I think that most people were a bit scared to snorkel where we did (it was deep, around 30- 50ft but the visibility was incredible, around 90ft) we mostly had divers below us. It was so clear and the corals and fish were awesome!
We spent a couple of nights there and then sailed on to Basse-Terre which is a big city where we were hoping to go into town and get a SIM card so we could have phone and internet service.
Seems that internet is a bit of a challenge here. We had been on the hunt for a SIM card since we arrived. When we would ask around for one we were sent from one location to another only to find out that no one seemed to have a SIM card. We spent $20.00 US traveling on a bus one day for over 3 hours to a location that was supposed to have one only to get there and find out that they did not…but lucky us, they told us where we might be able to get one…yea, right!
We thought that it was funny when we were clearing in and we saw a t-shirt that said “No Internet Here”, we thought that they were only talking about the town that we were in but, not so! This seems to be true for most of the Island!
When we anchored off of the big town of Basse-Terre it was sort of an open anchorage, not very protected. The weather started picking up and squalls moved over us so we did not feel safe leaving the boat to go into town. So we decided that we would just sail on to the next town and if we were able to get internet that we would just consider ourselves lucky! I was anxious to talk to Rachel though just to let her know that we were OK and safe.
From Basse-Terre we left the main land (left side of the butterfly) and headed to a group of small islands off of the coast called “Les Saints”. We pulled into a very busy harbor and found a mooring ball near town. Turns out that we were lucky to get a ball because they get filled up fast! If you have to anchor here you have to anchor way off of town in a very rolly anchorage so we really lucked out! The name of the island we anchored at is called “Terre-de-Haut” and it is absolutely georgeous!
Seems that we really hit the jackpot with this stop. This is a very popular spot for tourists with ferrys coming and going from the mainland all through out the day and the harbors all around are filled with cruising boats. There had to be at least a couple of hundred boats.
Securely on our mooring we jumped in our dinghy and went to shore. What a cute town! Narrow streets with mopeds and golf carts as the main mode of transportation scooting all over the place. Shops everywhere and bagettes and pastries and women on the streets selling little cakes, homemade savory filled pies, homemade ice cream and who knows what else…
We were finally able to use the internet when we found a internet cafe! Woo Hoo…communication! It was great to get a message out that we were OK and so importantly check the weather!
We’ve had a chance to snorkel some here, hike to a fort high up a mountain top and to some local beaches. There is so much to do here that we could easily spend a month and never get board. Heck, if we stayed here that long we might even be able to speak French by then! We’re learning some simple words to get by but it would be great to have a real conversation.