The Pointe-Á-Pitre is to Guade”loupe” You In

The Pointe-Á-Pitre is to Guade”loupe” You In

 

If I’m in the photo or the photo is really really professional, then the photography credit goes to Paul Woo.

 

After 7 days on the water, we settled back in readjusting our sea legs onto our first bed on land. After checking out and saying our goodbyes to our skipper-chef husband and wife team Brian and Marta, we drove an hour back to Fort-de-France.

 

 

Fun fact: our taxi driver Cedric was the exact same one who had rescued Koichi a week ago after a severely delayed flight that left Koichi with no means to call a taxi at midnight until a sympathetic local couple on the same flight assisted in finding and calling up Cedric.

Then the serendipities kept coming: just as Kimmy remembered she had left her North Face jacket back at Simon hotel where we stayed at a week prior, Paul also recalled he had accidentally left his cell phone in the taxi that Cedric’s mother was driving and thus compelling her to come back to the airport anyway. Then taking advantage of the drop-off for Paul’s phone, Kimmy and I also made a roundtrip retrieval mission for her jacket, which still somehow left us plenty of time for our afternoon 45 minute Air France flight to Guadeloupe.

 

 

Also known as “Butterfly Island” due to its geographic shape, Guadeloupe made for a quick entry with a cursory glance at our vaccine cards when we landed at 3:30pm at Pointe-à-Pitre. We then hailed a 30 euro taxi ride into the city and settled in at our charming Airbnb Appart Coeur de Rhum before exploring the town at sunset.

 

 

The town center begins at Place de la Victoire:

 

 

Mémorial ACTe, the largest memorial to enslaved people in the world is here, is located about a 10 minute walk south from the town center:

 

 

We then walked around town, the most other central spot being St. Peter and St. Paul Cathedral:

 

 

Nearby enjoy the brutalist distinct architecture of Hotel De Ville:

 

 

Across the street is a fascinating art complex Awtis An Resistans.

 

 

 

We then tried to find whatever street looked interesting.

 

 

…before finally finishing our tour by the Spice Market.

 

 

It was here where I had a hunch to finish our week with a Lebanese dinner at Damas Gate, taking it all in and resting up after a long week on water. We even invited The Yacht Week resident DJ Alex EBS to join us for drinks, who had noticed I was wearing TYW attire at FDF airport before we flew back together to PTP. He also happens to be on our same flight out tomorrow morning to Miami!

 

 

We all just tested negative on BinaxNOW + Telehealth again so we’re heading home now. Another week of successful in the books during these crazy times.

 

 

- At time of posting in Guadeloupe, it was 24 °C - Humidity: 80% | Wind Speed: 10km/hr | Cloud Cover: sunny

 

Sainte-Anne-versary

Sainte-Anne-versary

 

If I’m in the photo or the photo is really really professional, then the photography credit goes to Paul Woo.

 

It’s our last day but that doesn’t mean we can’t make the most of it!

 

 

After a night off and following morning at Pigeon Island, this afternoon we would bid adieu to Saint Lucia and sail back to Martinique, reaching the town of Saint Anne.

 

 

Here we moored for an hour of diving and swimming.

 

 

Our skipper and chef’s teenage kids Bianca and Shamus then soon joined us (from their own yacht) for an early sunset dinner and ensuring their parents were safe and sound with us.

 

 

We also partook in an impromptu musical jam session with Tammy’s guitar before saying goodbye and taking our dinghy for a quick visit to the town of Saint-Anne.

 

 

After docking, we spent the evening wandering the streets with their faded colonial charm.

 

 

Tonight we toast to everlasting friendships only these kind of trip experiences can make possible.

 

 

- At time of posting in Saint Anne, it was 24 °C - Humidity: 76% | Wind Speed: 26km/hr | Cloud Cover: occasional sunshowers

 

Landed Like a Pigeon Island

Landed Like a Pigeon Island

 

 

 If I’m in the photo or the photo is really really professional, then the photography credit goes to Paul Woo.

 

 

Today we rested up at Pigeon Island, an islet located in Gros Islet in the northern region of Saint Lucia.

 

 

Once isolated from the country in the Caribbean Sea, the island was artificially joined to the western coast of mainland in 1972 by a man-made causeway built from dirt excavated to the form the Rodney Bay Marina.

 

 

After setting our floating raft in the reserve, we laid out for another night underneath the stars swapping stories in the tranquil waters. The next morning we said our first goodbye to Jeanette, who had briefly joined us for 2 days this week on the water.

 

 

We now endure these 5 hours of rough, choppy waters back to Martinique.

 

 

- At time of posting in Pigeon Island, it was 28 °C - Humidity: 75% | Wind Speed: 18km/hr | Cloud Cover: sunny

 

Find a Pot of “Marigot” At The End of the Rainbow

Find a Pot of “Marigot” At The End of the Rainbow

 

After a day by the Pitons, we set sails later in the evening for Marigot Bay, often described as ‘the most beautiful bay in the Caribbean’.

 

 

A historic landmark, Marigot Bay has been the site of a number of battles between the French and the British navies. Also known as the hurricane hole, this bay was where yachts would take shelter during a hurricane.

This is also where Jeanette, multi-monsooner of 2021 from Cyprus, The Balearic Islands, Sardinia/Corsica, etc. etc. would find a way to still fly in after a winter storm in NYC, hire a car, hop on a water taxi and find us last minute on our yacht given all our unforeseen vacancies!

We knew in the back of minds that she’d find a way when she had similarly crashed our pre-orientation 2 months ago and semi-joked she’d find a way to join our group somehow.

You shouldn’t joke about these things!

 

 

For a $72 mooring fee here, we then enjoyed all the facilities there was to offer at the Marigot Bay Beach Club:

 

 

Later the night after dinner, we returned to the resort for late night drinks with our husband-and-wife team skipper Brian and chef Marta …despite eventually being eaten alive by mosquitos.

 

 

The next morning we woke up and took it easy with some of the best massage therapy I’ve experienced abroad since the Solomon Islands. A free morning of relaxation and doing your own thing, we also ordered iced coffee by the infinity pool, sweated out our toxins at both their wet and dry saunas, and dipped into their cold plunges around the corner.

 

 

Then after a splendid Caribbean lunch by the docks, we set sail out back towards the Pitons with a double rainbow seeing us off.

 

 

Managed to reach the Pitons again just in time for sunset.

 

 

- At time of posting in Marigot Bay, it was 28 °C - Humidity: 76% | Wind Speed: 18km/hr | Cloud Cover: sunny

 

No “Soufriere”-ing By The Pitons

No “Soufriere”-ing By The Pitons

 

If I’m in the photo or the photo is really really professional, then the photography credit goes to Paul Woo.

 

 

Survivors of the reckoning.

 

 

This morning we cruised down the west coast of St Lucia towards Soufriere, home to the famous Pitons, beautiful botanical gardens, sulphur baths, and waterfalls.

 

 

It’s time to celebrate getting this far!

 

 

The crown jewel of Saint Lucia is when you watch its coastline grow dramatically to the world famous Pitons.

 

 

Photoshoot time as we moor in the waters for the night.

 

 

She may not know how to swim yet, but she does know how to SUP now!

 

 

Kimmy tried to be our instructor, but we were too busy distracted by the Pitons in the background.

 

 

Afterwards we bought lobster by local fisherman that came up to our yacht to sell live produce. We haggled them down from $40/lb to $15/lb.

 

 

Before:

 

 

After:

 

 

To what a sunset do we owe in enjoying this lobster dinner:

 

 

Then it was a night on the sea, underneath the stars, and away from civilization and COVID:

 

 

The next morning after breakfast we docked at Sugar Beach and stepped ashore for a hike. Whether with view from the top of the Pitons or at the modest falls ($3 per person), there are plenty of options to choose from to make up for the lack of exercise for the week.

 

 

Afterwards we walked onwards towards the town of Soufiere where our yacht and skipper would pick us up.

 

 

The town itself is small enough that you can walk all of it end to end in 10 minutes.

 

 

After a quick lunch at Bellview and then provisional shopping at the local Massy’s . . .

 

 

. . . we headed onwards towards Marigot Bay.

Just don’t forget to come back here for more photos by sunset the next day:

 

 

Nature just got served.

 

 

Or simply great to pose with:

 

 

- At time of posting in Pitons, it was 27 °C - Humidity: 11% | Wind Speed: 34km/hr | Cloud Cover: sunny

 

Saint Lu”cia-l Away” to Rodney Bay

Saint Lu”cia-l Away” to Rodney Bay

 

If I’m in the photo or the photo is really really professional, then the photography credit goes to Paul Woo.

Despite the shenanigans of our comedy of errors of traveling in the middle of Omicron, we still woke up to beautiful mornings. Even Umbi, who continues to test negative but cannot sail with us due to his prior exposure risk, came by to quickly say hi.

 

 

And lo and behold, our intended replacement skipper, Borna, who had sailed for 24 hours from Guadeloupe to come save us would ALSO TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID.

We therefore cried to ourselves, licked our wounds and headed out for a sunset dinner at Double V. This has become a war of attrition.

 

 

At least the food was fantastic.

 

 

And so was the view:

 

 

The next morning we received the good news that our replacement skipper and chef, Brian (from Ireland!) and his wife Marta (from Brazil and Australia!) tested negative for COVID-19 and were ready to take us. We thus set sail for St Lucia in the wild open ocean.

 

 

Once underway we enjoyed the exhilarating sailing down wind to St Lucia, taking us about 3 hours before arriving into Rodney Bay in the nick of time at 3:30pm (the customs offices close at 4pm)

 

 

Once we arrived, we grabbed a coffee in Rodney bay while a local named Marcel and I took care of passport formalities at customs and Port Health next door.

 

 

After an hour of showing them our vaccine cards, copy of negative PCR results, our online QR codes showing we were cleared by their travel portals, and our passports, we received our coveted white wristbands that allowed us quarantine-free entry to the rest of the country!

 

 

 

Once we were cleared to enter Saint Lucia by sea, we docked to finally enjoy dinner and drinks.

 

 

While we saw a variety of bars, restaurants, and stores lining the marina, we elected to drive our dinghy and perform a James Bond-esque mission to retrieve provisions from a larger shopping mall across the bay at Massy Store.

 

 

Now it’s music night as we get out all our guitars and jam to the music playing in our heads and on the stereo…

 

- At time of posting in Rodney bay, it was 28 °C - Humidity: 74% | Wind Speed: 18km/hr | Cloud Cover: sunny