29th March ~ Prince Rupert Bay to Pain de Sucre
We are now going to join our friends on “Petit Goustan” and so we set off from Prince Rupert Bay to sail the short distance, 22 nautical miles to Les Saintes, Guadeloupe!
It was a very pleasant sail and we arrived into the little bay named Pain de Sucre at just about lunchtime!
We did see a lot of the Sargassum weed on our journey though! This weed is becoming a real problem for the livelihoods of the resorts on the islands in the Caribbean, some even having to close as they have been overwhelmed by the weed.
Guadeloupe – a short resumé!
We will be revisiting Guadeloupe during next winter and so my references to the island in this post will be made completely as a tourist on a mission to travel north to Antigua and Barbuda rather than to delve into all it’s history!!
However, this is the unofficial flag of Guadeloupe, the official one being the French National flag as Guadeloupe is a French overseas region! It is an island group in the south of the Caribbean sea and resembles a butterfly in shape! The two largest islands islands are separated by the Salée River.
South of these main islands you will find Marie-Galante and to the west of this island the tiny group of islands which make up Les Saintes!
Look out for my post on this group of islands next winter!
Arrival into Pain de Sucre!
Ah, there was “Petit Goustan”!
Very touchingly, Élise and Fabien had told us that they wanted to finish their sailing in the Caribbean with a cruise in company with “Musetta” if we would agree?
There was no question about that one, it would be a pleasure to do this and so our cruise would begin here in the bay at Pain de Sucre, Les Saintes! We would then head north to Antigua and Barbuda via Montserrat where we would have to say “au revoir”! Eek 🤔😪
Pain de Sucre is a small sheltered bay within the group of islands and has with several mooring buoys! These would always be the mooring of choice if one was free, luckily there was one for us! It really was a very pretty little place, ideal for chilling!
Suddenly there was a voice calling us ‘allo, allo’, it was Élise who had swum over to us with her ‘dry’ bag containing a baguette for us to have with our lunch!! How kind and how timely, it was most welcome!
The following day we set off in the dinghy to go to the small town Terre de Haut, to check it out and to buy a local speciality pastry! The pastry is, according to our friend Corinne in Port La Forêt, ‘a must’ to try when visiting this island and failing to do so would mean that our experience of Les Saintes would be hugely diminished!! How could we not try to find some to taste!
We went to a boulangerie where we discovered that these pastries are only sold by the ladies we would see walking up and down the street carrying them in wicker baskets!
The ladies were traditionally fishermens’ wives who baked them while waiting anxiously for their husbands to return from sea!
The pastry or tart is small, soft and gooey on the inside and crunchy on the outside. It is a pastry shell filled with coconut jam made of banana, pineapple or guava and spread on top of a cake mix. To finish the tart cake mix is spread over the top and then it is baked to a golden crust! We discovered later that the tarts were delicious!
Terre de Haut!
Having succeeded in our mission to find the cakes we had a walk round Terre de Haut!
31st March ~ Pain de Sucre to Rivière Sens
This really was the start of our cruise in company as we set off together for Rivière Sens on the main island! We had ideal conditions and made the short trip, 11nm in two hours arriving in time for lunch!
We didn’t intend staying in Rivière Sens too long, treating it as a catch up with the domestic chores mainly!
I set off with the washing and found a good self service laundry which was fast and efficient so decided to stay and wait for it to finish before heading back to Musetta. This was the view of the marina from the laundry!
I had had a nasty cut on one of my ankles while we were in Dominica which required a couple of stitches! That was a few days previously and I just wasn’t too happy with the way it was looking and so Élise and I set off for the hospital in Basse Terre to check it out. Élise came to give me moral support and to help out with any french I might not understand!
Élise turned out to be a Godsend as I wasn’t seen for more than 7 hours!!!! Luckily all was well with my ankle and after some excellent treatment we were on our way back to Musetta, driven by one of the hospital staff, there were no taxis after midnight!! We were starving by this time!!
Meanwhile we had arranged that Fabien would go on Musetta and cook supper! What a star and so good of him as Alan doesn’t cook, he is however very good at washing up and making drinks!! We all sat down to eat our delicious supper at about 1.30am and so it was a very late night for everyone!! I was extremely grateful to have had Élise’s company all that time in the hospital, it was very good of her!
3rd April ~ Deshaies, of ‘Death in Paradise’ fame!
We set off for the 25nm trip up to the top of the island at around lunchtime and arrived later the same afternoon into the bay at Deshaies.
We were more than keen to visit Deshaies as it is the location for the filming of the BBC TV series ‘Death in Paradise’ a programme we always watch when home in the UK! In the programme ‘Paradise’ is a Caribbean island called Sainte Marie and the town in the programme is called Honoré! More exotic sounding than Guadeloupe and Deshaies?!
Going ashore in the morning we found a cafe to have a coffee while we caught up with emails, messages etc.! There was someone in the café who has several friends who are ‘extras’ in the filming of the TV programme and she was able to tell us exactly where to go!
‘Death in Paradise’ was not a programme familiar to our French friends but they humoured us as we sought to look up as many of the locations as we could!
We found the beachside terrace used in the show at the northern end of the bay, just outside a restaurant called Le Madras which was full of photos of the cast.
Originally another bar was used but it was in the middle of the town and caused major hold ups while filming was taking place so they had to choose another location!
This is the original Catherine’s Bar! There were several photos hanging on the walls which show scenes from the show back when they used to film in there!
Here is the port where it was easy to visualise ‘Florence’ running down the quay to apprehend a criminal!
The beach shack where ‘The Chief’ lives in the series is removed at the end of each period of filming and hadn’t yet been rebuilt! It is at another location, Anse La Perle which is a beautiful bay with miles of gorgeous sandy beach! Hopefully we will see it when we revisit the island next winter?!
The set for the police station was right in the middle of the town and next to the church! Very convenient we thought until, on closer inspection we discovered that it was all closed up despite the sign advertising that it was open?!
The ‘end of the programme’ room where all the suspects are lined up to discover the truth was clearly in evidence though!! We could just picture the scenario!
The set for the Honoré Police Station which stated it was open but was in fact firmly shut!
Filming of the new series was due to start very shortly and lasts for a period of six months. Not a bad assignment I think!!
It was all a slightly surreal experience! Somewhat baffling as to why the programme directors chose Guadeloupe but we concluded that the somewhat scruffy appearance of Honoré added to the romantic charm and of course mystique of the production!
Au revoir Guadeloupe, a bientôt!
On to Montserrat next ….
** In order to know exactly where Musetta and crew are currently, please check the Yellow Brick Tracker page on the website!**