Sacre Bleu


What if you could sail up to the shore of Nice, but nicer? We accidentally encountered a tiny archipelago of islands south of Guadelope that are firmly and fastly French, and phenomenally out of sync with the third world island genre. The Isle de Saintes aspire to be anything but third world. 
Sailing north from Dominica in light winds, we pulled in to the islands hoping to nurse  a gaping hole in our jib. Using rusty high school French and ample sign language, we found a sailmaker-- Phillipe-- who graciously put us back in business within a day.

Phillipe spoke no English but saved our butts
This tiny series of 4 islands has upon its main isle the small town of Bourges de Sainte. The narrow streets are filled in the morning with vendors sitting on chairs dispensing hot, freshly baked croissants and baguettes from a bag in their lap.
Every other store front is a small restaurant trying to outdo its adjacent neighbor in culinary artistry.  


When you are not partaking in the cuisine, you are hiking 1000 feet to the top of Chemeaux, the highest peak on the largest island, Terre de Haute. There the French erected a lookout, which would have served them no purpose other than to predict their doom, as it is too high for cannons to mount a useful defense. Fortunately for them, the islands were strategically useless to the naval powers of the time, so they, the Brits and the Spaniards,  just sailed on by, and left the Saintians to fait le pain and boissez le cafĂ© au lait.  
the fortress atop Chemeaux

We stayed three days. Gained a pound a day.

julianne  3/25/17