The Franco-Caribbean Butterfly and it's Minions

Guadeloupe and Les Saintes, a sailing destination

"Short tacking through the Saintes, sailing just yards from the coral reefs."

Guadeloupe’s two main islands look like the wings of a butterfly and are separated by the Riviere Salee’ and a mangrove swamp. Its rich Franco-Caribbean culture and identity are distinctly different from Martinique, with Basse Terre (low land) being the larger and more mountainous island and Grand Terre (large land) being smaller and low lying. Someone had a sense of humor, it seems. Basse Terre, the western of the two, is home to the Guadeloupe National Park and the spectacular La Soufrière volcano. Partly agricultural, the sugar cane grown here is used to produce the local rhum, highly prized in France.

Deshaies (pronounced Day-ay) is another of our favorite places. The deep sheltered bay of this sleepy fishing village has the best French Bakery (oh, those pastries!) we have found in the West Indies, right across the street from the dinghy dock! You can wander through this quaint village and perhaps see an episode of the quirky TV series Death in Paradise being filmed.

Short tacking through the Saintes, sailing just yards from the coral reefs, to the anchorage at Bourg des Saintes is a challenge, but the reward waiting ashore is unequaled anywhere in the West Indies. Idyllic Gallic charm permeates this tiny bit of almost automobile free paradise, where renting a moped and touring the island is highly recommended. Explore Fort Napoleon, overlooking Bourg des Saintes to the south and Guadeloupe and Marie Gallant to the north and east. Scooter across the tiny island of Terre d’en Haut, being sure to pick up some hot, fresh baked baguettes, cheese and perhaps a bottle of wine for a mini picnic on one of the lovely beaches.

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Sailing the Caribbean Sea