Anse Fideling, Les Saintes

The Christophs departed in Pointe a Pitre, Guadeloupe, and Siegi and his wife Barbara a/k/a The Generalfeldmarschall, arrived.  Siegi and Barbara are old friends from American Yacht Club in Rye, NY.  The day of their arrival, I decided to clean my folding bike with salt water (insert smiley face here).  To do that, I left the bike unlocked next to our gangway and trusted a gust of wind to do the rest.  It worked!  The bike was gone.  I thought initially that the bike had been stolen but Siegi said that it had happened to him before that a bike was swept away by the wind.   Hard to believe as I had leaned it against a solid stainless fence.  But who knows?  So I got out the chain hook I keep for clearing foul anchor chains and started fishing.  The water was murky and about 5 meters deep at the dock but low and behold, I could feel there was something down there.  Several attempts later, I hooked something and pulled the bike to the surface!

The wind was adverse when the Brunners arrived so we wanted to wait for a day or two but the marina would not extend our stay even by a day – this is the high season.  So we moved to the anchorage outside in front of the massive Caribbean Center of Expression and Memory of Human Trafficking and Slavery, short “Memorial ACTe”.  It was choppy and rolly there but we were close to the town of Point a Pitre, which we wanted to explore.  A (wet) dinghy ride got us over to “yacht club” in the town center passing a couple of defunct live aboard sailboats anchored inside.  Felt a bit like Richardson Bay in San Francisco!

The town is quite poor and many buildings are a bit run down.   But public buildings seem to be in good shape and have recent paint on them.    Luckily, after a while we found a little bistro that was offering the local rum punch and was in the shade of some massive trees.  All was well after a few of the local offerings!  Nonetheless we decided against going back for dinner in the dark …..

Statues welded from nuts and bolts

This is the one nice street we saw– that’s where they channel the cruise ship passengers!

More typical building substance ….

We wondered what was being transacted here ....

The courthouse is stylish and very large

Our sweet little bistro ….

Graffiti art is everywhere

Memorial ACTe by night.   This building must be 300 m long and stands out like a sore thumb in a sea of wooden shacks.

The anchorage off the Memorial ACTe is very close to where the cruise ships turn.  Now would be a good time for this guy to put the engines in reverse!

The next day we had winds from the South-Southwest – highly unusual for this part of the World.  In the roughly 3 weeks I’ve been back on the boat, the weather has been acting up.  In January and February, the Easterly trades are supposed to blow uninterrupted but they certainly haven’t for us.  We’ve had a lot of rain, Westerly, even Southwesterly winds, cloudy conditions, you name it.  As Nicki says, never as advertised!  But that’s life, so we’re getting on with it, at least trying to!  

  We wanted to get to the West Coast of Guadeloupe, which with the Southerly wind made for an upwind sail to get around the bottom of the island.  The sail was actually ok albeit somewhat sporty so there were some pale complexions on board.  But when we got to Terre de Haut in Les Saintes for a well deserved dinner ashore all was fine!

The next day started early with a 7:00 run ashore with the dinghy to fetch some baguettes.  The forecast this morning confirmed that the front that was long forecast to reach down to the Windward Islands was indeed heading our way with strong Northwesterly (!!!) winds if only for a few hours tonight into the early hours of tomorrow.  The anchorage at Terre de Haut is totally open to the Northwest and there is only one alternative protected bay from the NW in Les Saintes:  Anse Fideling on Terre Bas, the next island.  So off were were to Anse Fideling at 0730.   We were not the only boat of the roughly 200 anchored in Terre de Haut that had the idea to move to Anse Fideling, but we were among the quickest to act and secured a nice place in the small bay.  

It was a bit rolly though which made it quite difficult to get off the boat and explore Terre de Bas.  I managed nonetheless and found a sleepy island with only a handful of tourists on display.

Kids' playground in Terre de Bas

Mainstreet  Terre de Bas

On the top of the mountain there is a building site where someone plans on building his or her dream house

But the road to get there is a bit difficult ….

Where I landed the dinghy in Anse Fidelin are remnants of the Pottery Fidelin built around 1760, which built clay pots for the sugar export.  The sugar market collapsed in 1815 when Cuba undersold all the other islands.  The pottery survived nonetheless until the end of the 19th Century.  Now there is an artist studio.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published