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Guadeloupe

Saga Sapphire blog - Captains' blogs

3rd February, 2018

As we passed the SW corner of Guadeloupe the wind started to gust to 35 knots which was a little concerning for arrival, however the Pointe-A-Pitre pilot station advised there was no wind in the harbour. It seemed hard to believe when we were experiencing strong winds 1 hour from the pilot boarding position, although I knew the harbour was well sheltered.

It's approx a 5M run in and we weaved our way through the off-lying islands and shallows. As it was the first time I'd been here as Captain we fully engaged the services of the pilot and made sure we got our money’s worth! The pilot guided us until we were 2M from the berth and then I took over. Just off the berth we completed another “pirouette” and moved astern to dock Portside alongside one of the passenger terminals.

There was a slight delay in getting clearance as we awaited the Officials!! – we are all learning to relax and get used to Caribbean time where no-one rushes. We were all clear around 0820 and straight away our guests were heading ashore. As this is a Murder Mystery cruise we had 4 tours named “Death in Paradise” after the TV series of course.

Pointe-A-Pitre is the largest city of Guadeloupe, an overseas region of France located in the Lesser Antilles and its inhabitants are called Pointois. The name Pointe-a-Pitre, literally the “Headland of Pitre”, is often said to derive from a Dutch or Jewish sailor named Peter.

I have attached a few photos from the local spice market, which is a fantastic spectacle of colour and choice of spices, at an excellent price of course. Within easy walking distance of the ship a number of “knowledgeable” guests headed straight there to top up their spice rack at home.

I headed off for an hour on my bike in the late afternoon. I went with a colleague and we ended up on to the equivalent of the M1!!! We quickly turned round and cycled back along the grass verge, which was all rather exciting to say the least. We eventually found a cycle path along the edge of a lagoon which was somewhat quieter to say the least.

With a 2030 all on board we departed shortly after and retraced our tracks from the morning. With pilot away by 2130 we set course for our overnight run to Roseau, Dominica.

Captain Julian Burgess

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