Les Petites Isles – Guadeloupe’s delightful offspring

Dominica was a tough act to follow, but the omens were excellent as on passage to Marie Galante we saw what we think were sperm whales breaching. I have seen many a dolphin in my time but never a whale breach. And it’s a truly impressive sight as they come properly out of the water and thwack down again in a vast cloud of spray. Just incredible.

Marie Galante came up trumps in providing us with our own little corner of tropical paradise, ticking all the cliches of one’s imagination. It is a relatively small island, belonging to Guadeloupe (so back in the EU), but very much off the tourist radar. We anchored to the North of a little town called St Louis, at the far end of a very wide bay fringed by a white sandy beach and palm trees. The water was the most unnatural shade of turquoise that no filter could recreate. To our amazement all the other boats anchored off the undistinguished town, leaving us to snorkel, walk ashore amongst the mangroves and scrubby bushes, practise rowing and motoring about in the dinghy all undisturbed. Here we introduced the concept of the pre school snorkel, which certainly woke the girls up for their morning lessons. So heavenly it was, we stayed three nights and even rounded it off with an extraordinarily delicious lunch ashore in a beach restaurant run by a couple in their 20s with open walls and a flapping tarpaulin for a roof, but the best lunch we’ve had since arriving.

Cherubino, at the end of the rainbow, with Daisy taking dinghy back to her.

The view from our superb lunch stop!

Girls out on an evening row.

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