January 20-23, 2011... Ilets of Le Robert

Thursday we finally headed for Le Robert harbor. We knew the seas were up, but having been sheltered so long behind Ilet Long, we were surprised by the force of the 8-9 ft. seas outside the reef. That beautiful turquoise water was standing on end, crashing into the reefs and rocking us as we moved the short distance north. As if to say, its OK, you're almost there, a dolphin swam over to chaperone us into Le Robert.
There are 10 islets and many coves along the edges of 3-mile long Le Robert harbor, making for a lot of nice anchorages and lots of shoreline for kayak explorations. For our first anchorage in the bay, we chose the first one to starboard -- inside Ilet Chancel (also called Ramville) and Ilet Duchamp (aka la Grotte). (Don't know why these islets have at least two names...) This is a very deep anchorage, steep to the islets, and after two attempts at anchoring on the slopes, we discovered that the town of Robert installed moorings up at the north end. We gladly picked up one of those. We thought we'd stay a night or two -- we ended up here for 4.

The water here is very clear and there was some nice snorkeling off the boat on the reef separating us from the next cove. Not lots of fish, but some interesting coral, and the juvenile forms of some of the fish we'd seen elsewhere. So we decided this was the baby reef. Also, there's a lot of HUGE starfish everywhere.

This is where the locals spend their weekends. Small numbers of boats arrive on Friday, more Saturday, but most on Sunday. They cluster on the small sand spit off the north end of Duchamp and folks jump off their boats and set anchors by hand. Kids swim, adults gather. But, the ultimate is reached on Sunday when the boat with the barbeque arrives, sets it in the sand, and grills for the crowd while waist-high in water. Now that is living!

We met some people who said they rarely see cruising boats here in Robert, and that we are the first American boat they've seen! That's hard to believe; this is such a beautiful spot.
Ilet Duchamp, Le Robert Havre: 14d41.374'N 60d53.138'W

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