Monday, May 18, 2015

River Expedition

Brody, David, Claire, Libby
I really wanted a clever name for our expedition between the butterfly wings of Guadeloupe but all I could come up with was Up the Butterfly or Dissecting the Butterfly,  or Slicing Through the Butterfly..... Eewww.  Nothing worked.  Basically, three cruising boats took two dinghies, a picnic lunch and a dog and headed up Riviere Salee from our anchorage in Petite Cul-Du-Sac (Pointe a Pitre) to Grand Cul-Du-Sac Marin.
sv Ocean Rainbow with Claire and James, sv Perigrine with Libby, David and dog Brody, sv Honey Ryder with us.
According to our old Doyle Guidebook, sailboats used to be able to transit the mangrove area between the two sides of Guadeloupe but no longer because the two bridges that used to open no longer open.  The route was still marked with navigation buoys.  Sadly we didn't see much in the way of wildlife or birds.  
Grand Cul-Du-Sac Marin
When we reached Grand Cul-Du-Sac Marin (north side of the island) the wind and waves were wet in our dinghy Nick Nack.  James got a nice little bath as he was in our dinghy.  Claire stayed dry in sv Perigrine.  We tried to go to a few tiny, uninhabited islands we saw but discovered that they were actually too shallow with no place to land for a picnic.
We headed back into the mangroves from where we came and took a side route to explore further.  James spotted a possible landing for lunch.  We cut the engine and lifted it because it was shallow with weeds.  We paddled to the landing and in typical British fashion, James declared this spot for Queen and country or at the very least for our lunching purposes.
Lunch time

We got out all our lunching goodies to share.  Libby upped the potluck lunch ante by providing a tablecloth and smoked oysters.
Libby and David
For the return trip, we decided a girls dinghy and a boys dinghy was best.  I took the girls in Nick Nack as we don't have the testosterone need for speed that the guys have - Nick Nack isn't fast.  We were doing find until I had a bit of a challenge switching over fuel tanks.  But I figured it out about the time the guys double back to us.
James and Claire
It was a fun expedition despite not having a catchy name.   

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