We have finally broken free from the clutches of St. Maarten/St Martin and have found ourselves immediately in nature’s playground again. We enjoyed the BVIs in the north but we had out stayed our welcome in St. Martin. We were mainly hanging around to get the new outboard serviced and to be close to an international airport in case Thomas had to fly back to Germany for business. Thank goodness he didn’t have to go. Once we returned from our jaunt to Anguilla we anchored in Marigot, on the French side, instead of Simpson Bay on the Dutch side.
The Dutch side has been over run by a type of tourism that doesn’t appeal to us; casinos, duty free shopping and lots of traffic on roads without footpaths. Always in search of a beautiful bay, we headed south back to Guadeloupe. It took us a couple of days because we were sailing against the wind and the current and when the wind died on the first night we called into a small bay along the way to catch some sleep and have dinner without heeling. It was a hard slog but we came into Deshaies in the morning and we were in the water within fifteen minutes.
No sooner had we got out when a pod of dolphins came swimming around the boat anchored behind us. Seeing how another snorkeller in the water didn’t deter the dolphins, I decided to go back in and join them. Watching them swim around me was amazing. I’d never had wild dolphins swimming so close to me before. There was obviously some purpose in their behaviour but it was hard to make out and I’d never seen them act like this before. They were rubbing up against something on the bottom and appeared to be taking turns. They seemed to be caressing each other in a loving way as well. It seemed almost ritualistic but we were probably reading too much into it. They were probably just having a scratch. I called Thomas in and to bring the camera. They swam around us and under us. One got a bit curious and went right up to have a look at Thomas. Thomas managed to snap that.
There were three mothers with their baby swimming close underneath each of them. It seemed like the babies were stuck there like little sucker fish. There were at least two other adults with them. When swimming underwater, we could hear their chatter.
At one stage a school of panic stricken fish dashed around us creating a chaotic underwater scene. We were concerned that the dolphins might go into a feeding frenzy and we would get caught up in the middle of it, but they were obviously full and enjoying their game with the underwater object too much to bother. We began to feel little stings from miniature jellyfish and wondered whether their presence had anything to do with the scene we were witnessing. Maybe that’s something I can google; do dolphins get stung by jellyfish?
Just being able to see the bottom clearly in ten metres of water, having an anchorage that isn’t rocking us violently and being away from the rat race of St. Maartens is a joy. Days like this make all the hard work worthwhile, (tongue in cheek here).
The next day we headed off up a waterfall laden creek bed on advice that would reach the ‘source’. After about 2 hours of clambering over rocks and 2 swims along the way, we reached the ‘source’ (lovely to be in swimming in fresh water). This was a magnificent crevice with a huge rock in the middle that had obviously caved in by the force of the waterfall dropping approximately 10 metres behind it.
The hike was unique as it was nearly entirely through the creek bed. It was a bit hard on my sore toe as I climbed over the boulders and rock hopped over stepping stones.
I was relieved we had a downward trek along a road on the way back. We saw quite a few fish and one enormous bright red hermit crab in a large sea shell. We didn’t realise that we were also climbing in altitude and we were quite surprised when we reached the road and looked out at the view high above the township. The creek was in amongst rainforest and it was a beautiful walk.