Sunday Island anchored off the Malendure Guadalupe on Sunday 8th January 2023. We remained at anchor for four fantastic days. Each day we would enjoy two or three snorkelling expeditions to Pidgeon Island and the Jaques Cousteau Marine Reserve allowing us to snorkel the entire way around both Pigeon Island and her smaller sister Petit Island.
On the 9th January we were joined by Emilie’s father Phillippe and her uncle and aunt Laurent and Marie-Laure who had flown in from France. The party arrived late in the evening, but that did not slow anybody down the next morning and we were all up and snorkelling before breakfast.
We found the coral and fish plentiful at the Jaques Cousteau reserve, however a noticeable absence of reef sharks, rays and lobster.
On Wednesday 11th January we departed our anchorage after a morning snorkel and motored south to Bouillotte (boiling) where we explored the hot springs ashore. The springs opened into the ocean and we enjoyed swimming in 41*C water. I could feel myself sweating while swimming!
We then set sail for Illes Les Saintes where we anchored off and explored the quaint little town of Borg des Saintes. The next morning I met up with a friend off another boat and hiked up Fort Napoleon which was very interesting and rich in history from the time of the French English wars and Pirates. Later in the day we motored SW to a beautiful little anchorage called Pain A Sucre “Sugar Bread” which offered some fantastic snorkelling.
The next morning at 0600 I woke up and pulled up the anchor and set off towards Dominica while everybody remained sleeping. It wasn’t long before our guests (not wanting to waste a minute of the cruise) were up on deck and eager to start sailing. We hoisted the sails and put out the fishing lines and sailed on. Laurent loved sailing Sunday Island and spent the day on the helm. Close to Dominica our fishing lines went “Zing”. Philippe began reeling in one and I was on the other, while Emilie and Laurent slowed the boat down. Both fish were very large and took a long time to come in. Amazingly when the fish were only 30m from the boat we both felt one final tug, and reeled in only the heads of two massage tuna!
We anchored in Dominica where our guests left us to stay in a B&B. Later we met up for dinner and a bit of a rum party onboard before our guests returned ashore. The next day we explored the fresh food markets, bought some lobster from a local fisherman and then Laurent and Marie hired a car and we piled in and toured the magnificent island of Dominica for the next two days, exploring many waterfalls, beaches, boiling sulphur points, and a volcanic lake. A picture can only try to show the beauty of the island. A note for future travel in Dominica it to be prepared for all conditions, it can be wet and cold at the top of the volcano even when it is sunny on the beach.
After a few days touring Dominica we returned the hire car. Philippe, Laurent and Marie returned onboard and joined us for a sail to a nearby island Marie Calot. Laurent and Marie had organised another B&B here. We explored the island by foot, then spend the next day at the beach before a farewell dinner on Sunday Island.
The next morning on 18th January we sailed to Antigua. It is 130nm from Dominica to Antigua and we sailed through the night arriving at 0400 in the morning where we anchored off Pidgeon Beach in English Harbour.
It was fantastic to return to Antigua, after a 15 year absence for both Emilie and I. We had a lot of new and old friends to catch up with and planned to meet a few Aussie crew on Pidgeon Beach for Australia day. It was here in English Harbour on 19th January Issy got her first Wobbily tooth. But Issys tooth wasn’t the only thing wobbling!!!
The next morning we were up and about early eager to re-explore the island. I was making coffee at 0723 when Emilie and I felt Sunday Island start to shake as if her keel were banging on the sea bed in 1ft chop. Emilie and I both ran on deck and looked over the side, but we were still in deep water and the anchor had not dragged. Emilie looked on the web and found out that we had just experienced the effects of a a magnitude 5.8 earth tremor in Dominica!