The Îles des Saintes, also known as Les Saintes, is small archipelago encircled by shallow reefs composed of two very mountainous inhabited islands, with seven other uninhabited îlets. The total surface is 12.8 km2 (4.9 sq mi) and has a population 3,418. Fishing was for a long time the main activity of les Saintes and is still an important employment sector although over the past thirty years, tourism has been growing. It is yet another dependency of Guadeloupe lying south of Basse Terre and west of Marie-Galante.
At the center of the village is a pleasant town square and the ferry dock which discharges day trippers at an alarming rate during the day. We arrived in time to witness the hustle and bustle of passengers embarking on the last ferry of the day back to Guadeloupe with vendors hawking beverages and the tourment d’amour tarts the island is famous for. After reading Ann Vanderhoof’s tantalizing description in "The Spice Necklace," we were eager to try them.
As the next day was a Sunday and we were sorely in need of a good rest, we chose to to spend a lazy day on the boat enjoying the beauty and calm of the bay. This did not last long however, as during the course of the day, several cruisers we know arrived in the bay and moored up nearby including our friends from the Juliana enroute from the BVI. Although this signaled the end of our quiet day, the joy of being a part of a community of sorts, the cruising community, and catching up on the latest from our fellow cruisers more than compensated for its loss.