Location: Terre de Haut, Iles des Saintes
We awoke this fine morning to the smell of salt air and hopeful optimism for the day to come. After spending a few nights facing rough currents and salty sprays, we were all more than ready to spend some time on land. The crew scarfed down a few dozen chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast and proceeded to make our way to land. Dinghy ride after dinghy ride, we arrived in the town of Bourg des Saintes on the island of Terre de Haut. Bourg des Saintes is the only real town in any of the islands of Les Saintes. Each quaint little building in the town has slightly stained off-white walls and a red, sun-bleached roof. Every structure flows seamlessly into the next, creating the most picturesque island town imaginable. Couple that with the smell of freshly baked baguettes, smooth cappuccinos, and delectable handmade gelato…you’ve got yourself a great place to spend the morning.
The Argonauts spent a few hours wandering around Bourg des Saintes, in and out of French cafes, bakeries, and grocery stores (we like food). The narrow streets were filled with mopeds, tiny cars, and all kinds of people bustling about. Hours passed by as we sipped coffee, called our loved ones, chewed on baguettes, ate gelato, and well, what more is there to do in a little French town like this? After a lovely morning on the town, we all headed back to home base, S/Y Argo, for a nice lunch on the water. Following lunch, a group of us working towards our Advanced Open Water Diver certification (myself included) headed out for an underwater navigation training dive in the waters of the Pain de Sucre anchorage. We saw more beautiful fish than you can imagine, ranging from the adorable juvenile Smooth Trunkfish to the creepy Yellowline Arrow Crab. After a 40-ish minute dive, we packed up our gear and settled down for the afternoon. The students had a few minutes to relax, study, play games, etc. before heading into a yummy mac n’ cheese dinner and an evening of free time for some and night diving for others.
I believe I speak for everyone when I say it was a fantasmagorical (not to be confused with “phantasmagoric”) way to spend our day. I won’t bother trying to define that word, fantasmagorical, if you were here with us, you’d understand. Sometimes you aren’t able to describe a certain feeling or experience with a real word – it’s just that extraordi…no no…fantasmagorical. I’m beginning to believe that this entire journey will be one of those experiences.
Pictured left to right: The beautiful view of Bourg des Saintes from the Argo; The narrow streets of Bourg des Saintes; A group of us students enjoying a wonderful French cafe; A yummy cappuccino!