Each anchorage is like a new neighbourhood filled with fellow cruisers. This is Iles Des Saintes
Before we set sail to go cruising one of the questions that ran through our minds was “ would we feel lonely?” We had many family and friends ask us the same sort of questions like what about all your friends? and what about Cole, how will he be socialised? Wont you get lonely out there all by yourselves? All these questions can have a worrying effect on your decision to go cruising. Well let me tell you that there is no shortage of friends and social events when you are a cruiser. In fact you may at times seek out some solitude from all the activity.
It seems most cruisers are outgoing and social by nature, maybe this is some sort of unwritten requirement. We all have a huge amount in common so breaking the ice is no problem and getting together is a lot of fun. Making friends out here is easier than you can imagine and many of us joke how it would never happen the same way back in the real world. Think about this for a minute; you are out and about in your car and you see the same car with a couple of kids and their parents at a few different stops so at the 2nd or 3rd stop you walk on over to their car and say “hi” and introduce yourself, maybe you even say that you are heading to Ikea and would their kids like to join yours for some play time in the ball room? Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? This is kind of how it happens out here in the cruising community. You may see a boat that shares the same flag as you so you head over to introduce yourself and maybe even invite them over for sundowners that evening. Maybe you are a family cruising and you see some kids on another boat, well of course you have to head over there if they haven’t already beat you to it by coming to your boat. You can meet at the beach or even in the chandlery it really doesn’t matter, living on your boat is like a license to new friends.
Of course not everyone you meet is the perfect fit and some people you may only see a few times, while there are others that you will just click with and find yourself sailing with from island to island. Either way there are many special relationships to be made out here so don’t worry about feeling lonely. I don’t think it’s possible.
This little anchorage is so quaint, it just makes you smile.
The cute streets of Iles Des Saintes, Guadeloupe.
We arrived in Isles Des Saintes, Guadeloupe and it was like a weekend block party where we hooked up with some new and old cruising friends. This cute little french fairytale style village was the perfect backdrop to have a great time with a bunch of friends. We arrived into the harbour after a lengthy night sail to see our friends on SV Stop Work Order, a fellow family cruising boat from not only the same country but one town over from where Brad grew up. If that isn’t cause for instant friendship what is?
One of the sweet little cafes in Iles Des Saintes.
When you are a cruising family it seems that we are always seeking out kid boats and there are a few Facebook Groups that make it really easy to do this. One is called Kids for Sail, here you will find all kinds of questions and answers about sailing with kids and also people connecting online about hooking up down the line with a common destination. I joke about this being like online dating between families. That is exactly how we met our friends on SV Sail Pending. Kristie and I had been in touch about both having only kids on board and the more we got to chatting the more we realised how much our boys would have in common. So after a few months of keeping in touch online this was the place where we would finally get to meet in person. It seemed that a sweet happy hour was in the making with all these friends around, coupled with French food goodies, it was the perfect pairing.
SV Sail Pending to our left, SV Totem to the right and SV Stop Work Order in front of them.
Speaking of online connections, there are a few blogs that we read and followed while in the planning stages of our cruising tour and at the top of that list was SV Totem. Totem is also a sailing family from the Pacific North West that has been cruising for over 8 yrs. I’m sure you have heard of them, everyone in the cruising community has. We knew that they would be in the area after crossing the Atlantic and had sent them a message to see if we could connect. So who pulls up right behind us to drop the hook? SV Totem of course! Add a few more to the invite list. Good thing we have a cat cause we are now up to a count of 16 including parents and kids. Kids on the deck and parents in the cockpit. What a night, full of good food, great drinks and awesome cruising stories. Our apologies to the boats around us because we may have been a bit louder than usual with the T-Punch flowing along with the conversation I know we were up past boaters midnight ( 9:30pm lol )
A few Ti-Punches and great snacks for sundowners in the cockpit of Saltair 3
The following day was a slow start but soon got underway with an organised hike to the top of a hill for a view of the bay and our cruisers cup de sac. How fun that all your neighbors are your friends. Parents were dinghying from one boat to another while the kids did the same on the kyacks and paddle boards.
More laughs and stories on the hike to the old fort.
The kids got their socialising in too!
This was a great weekend that we will all remember and even though we are all in different anchorages as I write this we are all still connected and know that these are special friendships that have been made. We look forward to anchoring together down the road at some other great anchorage to share some new stories and laughs!
The view from the old fort overlooking all the boats in our Cruisers Cul De Sac. Gotta love the handpicked neighbours!
Life is for Livin’