Friday, March 22, 2013

Basse Terre in Guadeloupe

I did not feel very comfortable, anchored in front of Plymouth and was making nightmares of the anchor dragging or being visited by pirates, since we were in a completely desert area with nobody around except this other sailboat. By 6:00 we were away, en route for Guadeloupe. The whole distance is around 55 nautical miles and we arrived around 1:00 p.m., having marveled at the  various anchorages along the way and the beautiful landscape.
When we got to the marina, impossible to raise them on the  radio and I went in, hoping to find an empty space, which I did.
Now we were in France ! That means very little service, dirty restrooms and showers that need a lot of plumbing repairs, but customs and immigration formalities that you do yourself on a computer in one of the  restaurants around the marina !
And for this location, no internet to speak of. So I went to the local phone shop and bought what they call a "Domino", which is a Hot Spot that can accomodate up to 5 computers. But it worked only for the evening, and next morning got stuck. I tried several times to call customer service, but failed to make it work. I guess I will have to wait until we get to France to get this problem fixed.
The staff of the restaurant where we did the clearance was very helpful, and we ended up renting the personal car of the waiter, as we could not find one single car from the regular rental car companies.
I also had to change all the wiring on my step down transformer before we could use it. Anyway, by the end of the  day, we had electricity, water, no  internet, one car. Life was OK.
Next day, we drove all around the island which is beautiful  We drove to Pointe a Pitre as I wanted to show Karen the big marina there, called the marina du Bas du Fort, where I have been several times, but which I will never visit again as it has become far too big.
We drove back, hoping to have dinner on the sea side on the way back, could not find an open restaurant, and ended up having dinner again at the same restaurant at our marina.
This is a marina where you can't expect to sleep during the week-end. Next to the boat, there was a restaurant/night club, which played loud music up to 5 in the morning, Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday night. I do not know about the rest of the week, but it might be just the same.
I don't think that I would recommand anybody to stop there. We are going to try on the way back to anchor in Deshaies, which looked to us a lot better.
Hopefully, Dominica and Martinique will be more rewarding.

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