Holidaying with friends in Guadeloupe

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Our friends Ogi and Elena came to visit us. We already conquered the seas of Greece and Croatia with them and now it was time for a Caribbean revival. After some minor logistical challenges (like figuring out where and when to meet), we met on the French islands „Iles Saintes“ just North of Dominica. There, they awaited us at the quai, equipped with a guitar and a strong rum – basically all you need for a good sailing holiday. The Iles Saintes made an impression of being caribbean Switzerland: Nice little spotless houses with cute little gardens and clean and narrow streets.
We welcomed the two vacationers with some boat chores like finding water on a desert island and provisioning for a week in a minimarket. After a few rather uncomfortable and rolly nights at anchor we had a very smooth sail to Guadeloupe. Captn’ Ogi enjoyed being in charge of the boat but we knew we had to keep a watchful eye on him as he was happily singing „I will put you under the sea“ while steering Naïma.
After a night at Anse à la Barque we went to what was to become one of our favourite spots in the Caribbean: The anchorage near Pigeon Islands (also called Iles Goyave) in Guadeloupe. We liked the place so much because of its wonderful underwater-world and the laid-back, holidayish kind of feel that it has to it. Our days at Pigeon Island were very relaxing. A few snorkels or dives a day (even some wreck-diving involved), the singing of our Caribbean holiday-hymn (Jamaica Farewell by Harry Belafonte), eating coconuts, plantanes and delicious curries and enjoying the good life. We rented a car for a few days to get around on the island and went hiking at La Soufrière. It was a funny hike, because we didn’t really see anything except fog, but the smell and the heat on top of the mountain served as indicators that we were indeed on an active volcano. The dip in the hot springs at the end of the hike was definitely well deserved. These hot-springs were actually rather luke-warm springs, especially if compared to the hotsprings we found a few days later in the bay just next to ours: There, a river with almost boiling hot water flows into the sea. It’s a really impressive experience to let yourself get carried away by the hot water into the seemingly cold ocean – and do the ritual over and over again.
After 10 days, our two sail-mates had to leave us to go back to their normal lives again and Bernie and I found ourselves alone back on Naïma. Not all alone though, as we now had a family of about 100 zebra-fish that decided to live in the trunk of our centerboard. Up next: We accidentally sail into a Regatta on Antigua and enjoy a few last Caribbean adventures in Barbuda.

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