DAY 5 ON THE WIND SURF IN ISLES DES SAINTES, GUADELOUPE

Isles des Saintes Guadeloupe | Windstar Watersports Platform | Crew Talent Show

We woke up this morning amidst anchored sailboats and catamarans, and surrounded by picturesque Guadeloupe with mountainous scenery in nearly all directions. Oh, and the Seabourn Odyssey is our neighbor once again. Can't get over the beauty of our surroundings. Every morning seems to deliver a more spectacular Caribbean port.

Les Saintes are a collection of small islands that lie about 6-miles off the coast of Guadeloupe. Only 2 of the 10 islands are inhabited. The islands have volcanic origins and can rise up to 1,000 feet out of the sea. With the larger islands of Guadeloupe to the north and Dominica to the south you can almost visualize the surrounding beauty of this port.

Guadeloupe is a tender port and they operate from 8am until the last one at 5:30pm. The village of Bourg is tiny but oh so picturesque with white washed homes with red tile roofs snuggling up to the lush hillsides.

The shops begin right at the pier. It's a bustling little village with two ships in port, but quiet when they leave. Bourg is fun to kick around in, and you will find nice deals on unique Caribbean fashions at a fraction of the price of say, St. Barts.

Expect to see small restaurants - some right on the water for food and drinks with fabulous views, scooter rentals, ice cream shops (it's warm here), art galleries, and gift shops; all on the main road which is pedestrian only during the day.

There are an abundance of water sports oriented excursions for purchase here in Guadeloupe. The popular Clear Bottom Kayaking operates 3 tours at different times. Others with one or two times are Guadeloupe by Catamaran, Les Saintes by Speedboat, Diving, Les Saintes by Sailboat, and a historical tour.

Fort Napoleon, built in 1867, is about a 25-30-minute walk from the pier. It's a little steep but overall a relatively tolerable walk. There is a small entrance fee but the reward for the walk and fee is the great views of the sparkling Caribbean Sea and neighboring islands.

For beaches, the possible best beach is Baie de Pont. The water is usually calm, the snorkeling is good and palm trees provide shade but beware - there are no facilities here. Other good beaches are Palm de Sucre, Bois Joli, Marigot Bay, and on the south coast the secluded Anse du Figuier.

Back onboard the Wind Surf, it is a spectacular day to lounge by the pool or better yet, take advantage of the famous Windstar Water Sports Platform. If you choose not to go into port, or return early you can practically own the yacht, pick out the best sunny spot, a great space under the shade, or dominate the pool of hot tubs. I chose a lounge chair on the aft overlooking the Watersports Platform activates and steps from the pool to cool off.

Back to the Watersports Platform. Be sure to view our photo album and see all the water toys available to you - and they are all included. The giant trampoline gained popularity as the afternoon progressed with sun worshipers socializing. Even the large mat had people lying and hanging on to it, me included.

All you have to do is go there and check out snorkel gear, a kayak, paddle board, sunfish sail, or a float. Want to get adventurous? Just ask for the friendly staff to bring out the motorboat and go for a spin tubing or water skiing. It's very liberating to just jump in the sea to swim or play and not be in a "roped off sea", as Jimmy Buffett referred to it. Cheers to that.

What a great a great afternoon in this beautiful setting. As we celebrated yet another Sail Away, I noticed the sun now cast a completely different hue on the surrounding hills. So more pictures of the same mountains. Which is better? Hard to decide. And what a magnificent red fireball of a sunset we experienced over and in between the neighboring mountainous islands. Simply spectacular! Cheers again.

Did I mention how relaxing yet invigorating Sail Away is each and every afternoon? Pick out a prized spot on deck, order the drink of the day - or your favorite beverage and soak in the breathtaking view of the port you just visited, the passing islands and sailboats, and of course the ever changing Caribbean sunset.

Tonight is the once a week Crew Show. The crew broke out their special talents for our enjoyment - singers, dancer, just about anything. Lots of fun had by all.

DRINK(s) OF THE DAY: Planter's Punch
Myers Rum, Bacardi, orange & pineapple juice with a dash of grenadine. $7.75
Tinis & Bubbles. Between 5:15pm and 6:15pm. $5.50

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