Alone Like a Rolling Stone


 Sailing means being constantly on the move. Moved by wind and wave, or even just by a swell at anchor. The right maneuver in your head, executed in time, also keeps your mind constantly moving. Are all hatches tight? The question before sailing off. If you don't ask yourself this question, your bunk will be wet after the first wave that comes over the deck. You can afford to make mistakes, but then you have to pay for them yourself. That's what I like about this life. No one, except yourself, is responsible for your mistakes. Just like in real life, only here there's no one you can blame it on.

Basse Terre, Guadeloupe

We master the crossing to Basse Terre on Guadeloupe without any problems. Anchoring in the swell is less fun. The incoming gusts cause a lot of movement in the boat and the anchor alarm is triggered more than once during the night. Since the back and forth in the boat at night is already annoying, the beeping alarm of the anchor watch, so to speak, is the icing on the cake. Basse Terre doesn't give much away either in our opinion and so we sail a bit further, along the west coast, to Cousteau National Park. Pigeon Island is supposed to be a diving and snorkeling paradise, and indeed, there is a lot to see underwater. Also turtles are again numerous. 

Anchorage Cousteau National Park, Guadeloupe

In Deshaies we want to rent a car to explore the island on land. Easier said than done. Here the last two years have left clear traces. We finally find the car rental agency at the other end of town in a run-down building. If we had not been told that there is a car for rent here, we would not have found it. Actually we wanted to lend the rented car, two days, however, face of the high Mooringpreise of 22€ the night, we reduce the whole on one day. Guadeloupe has the shape of a butterfly. The wing in the east is flat, the western one is hilly. In the west is also the national park with its rainforest, for us clearly the most beautiful part of Guadeloupe. We take a look at both wings and drive to the southeastern tip. On the way back we get into a traffic jam. The traffic density on the island is enormous. 

In the rainforest of Guadeloupe

The rainforest on the west side is lush and interspersed with watercourses. There are hiking trails that are very well signposted and have different lengths. So there is something for everyone and if you want to cool down, just sit under a waterfall or wade through a river. Back in Deshaies, we clear out the next morning. As usual on the French islands, this is done on the computer, which is set up in bars, marinas or any stores. The owner then prints out the declaration and stamps it. As a rule, 4€ are due.

Deshaies anchorage

All in all, a simple matter. Too simple! Our next planned stop is the island of Montserrat. Unfortunately, I make a mistake, where we are back at the beginning of this story. For Montserrat, I read that an antigen test is required upon arrival, which must be done on the island. What I didn't read, and I'm not sure if this was stated anywhere either, is that there needs to be a test before entry and a test upon entry. If you don't have this test, you can't enter the country at all. The official sends us back to the boat. The fact that we are willing to take the test does not count. There are rules that have to be followed. That's a pity, but as I mentioned at the beginning, you are responsible for your own mistakes and so we are denied entry to the island. The problem could only get a little bigger because our next island we want to visit is St Kitts and Nevis. Also here you need an antigen test, which we actually wanted to do in Montserrat. Here it was clear on the internet that this test is needed. We are very curious to see what awaits us there. If we are also rejected here, we will have to turn south early and drive out of the hurricane zone. It's about time anyway. How it will turn out in St. Kitts and Nevis we will tell you next week. Until then, always fair winds and keep a stiff upper lip.

At 30°C, times the feet cool down, rain forest Guadeloupe