Sailing the Caribbean – Grenada to St Maarten November 2010 Pt. 4

Grenada to St Maarten – Pt4
From Dominica we headed North again to the Isles des Saintes just to the South of Guadeloupe, then on to St Kitts followed by our final destination in St Maarten.

Dominica to Les Saintes

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Saintes are a cluster of gorgeous islands just to the South East of Guadeloupe and we left Dominica at the crack of dawn to arrive mid-morning and a stop for lunch and to look around the lovely little beach-side town of Terre d’Haute. Zuzana and Andrew summoned the energy for a hike up to the Fort where there are spectacular views of the bay and over to Guadeloupe beyond.

Gretchen and I grabbed a mojito in this fabulous waterside bar, colourfully decorated – actually it’s called “Colours” – with artwork and very tasteful souvenirs….although I think a lot of them were made in Asia rather than the Caribbean!

St Kitts & Dinner

We pressed on after lunch for St Kitts with another overnight sail….time was getting short now to get to St Martin for the returning flights! Everyone was a dab hand with the night sailing by now and we settled into 3 hour watches easily! Gretchen and I took turns with Andrew and Zuzana, and although it’s tiring keeping a watch system, there’s something quite magical about night sailing under the moon and stars, especially when the wind was as perfect as we had and we hit 9 knots sometimes with a 25 knot wind on the beam….fantastic!

We stopped for breakfast in a deserted anchorage, attractively called Buggs Hole; the other choice would have been Shitten Bay! It was lovely to have a rest and a swim in some beautifully clear water and Andrew assured me he’s seen a big eagle ray whilst snorkelling. I took my camera, but try as I might I couldn’t confirm this sighting!

We motored up the coast to the main town of Basseterre for the afternoon.

I was lucky enough to meet up with my friends from Scotland, and previous guests on Ibis, Marion and Iain and their friends who were holidaying in St Kitts when we arrived. We formed a great big table in the restaurant for dinner which was a nice lively occasion before our final night sail on to St Maarten.

St Maarten

And so our final leg into St Maarten was another fast trip again with the wind on the beam, however it was a very tired crew who breezed into Marigot the next morning in time to catch Zuzana’s afternoon flight back to London….PHEW! We made it in time!

Luckily Andrew and Gretchen had an extra night on board to catch up on some lost zeds and we had a farewell dinner in the little Thai restaurant on Marigot marina. I’m sure Zuzana slept on the plane but I think she had to be in the office the next day……I hope you kept your eyes awake in the meetings Zuzana!

Read Part 3 of the Grenada to St Maarten Trip here….

Captain’s Postscript
It was an intensive itinerary to sail the 400 miles in 12 days, and whilst in theory this trip could be done quite easily in 4 days non-stop sailing, our plans to stop off at the different islands meant that, particularly in the early part of the journey, we needed to be quite close hauled (going against the wind and waves) for some passages which makes the day’s voyage longer and a bit more arduous. This certainly slowed us down early on in the trip and made for a more pressured second leg.

We will be doing this trip again, only over a longer time period so that guests can spend more time enjoying the destinations as well as the journeys.

To see when we’re next sailing where, click on our Caribbean Sailing Calendar, or the main menu links at the top of this page, or contact us if you’d like to find out about a private sailing charter on Yacht Ibis.

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