January 29 - February 1, 2011... La Grande Galette

Saturday morning up early waiting for morning light to leave the anchorage without hitting the reef (good safety tip.) Lots of wind, seas kinda high; but Anhinga was up to the task. For the 80+ mile sail to Marie Galante, an island off the south coast of Guadeloupe, we had some of our best speeds ever, surpassing 9 knots for a few seconds here and there, but good, steady 7s. Unfortunately we still weren't able to make the whole trip in daylight and had to anchor in the dark, choosing Anse Ballet -- a broad empty area. Next morning we moved up the coast to anchor off St. Louis, a nice little town. From this anchorage we had a terrific view of the sunset over Les Saintes, another set of islands further west.

Marie Galante (called La Grande Galette because of its round, flat shape) is a very quiet place; one of the major sugar cane growing regions in Guadeloupe. One day we rented a scooter to tour the island which is easily crossed in a day. Of course we saw lots of sugar cane fields. We also found the Moulin de Bezard, one of the last intact windmills on the island (there were hundreds when cane was processed this way.)

Another highlight was Capesterre, a town built up the hills in the southeast of the island. The church is in the center of town flanked by the town hall and the market. The fishermen had just brought in some dolphin fish and tuna when we walked on the coast road by the fish market.

We took the scooter along the south coast road past beautiful beaches to Grand-Bourg, the big town on the island, where we stopped for lunch at an open air restaurant by the port. Then back up to the north to Anse Canot, yet another beautiful beach with turquoise water. There is a LOT of gorgeous scenery in Marie Galante.

Anse Ballet, Marie Galante: 15d54.159'N 61d20.154'W
St. Louis, Marie Galante: 15d57.446'N 61d19.324'W

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