Thursday, February 16, 2017

Ile Fourchue

Ahh, it feels so good to be in the water again! Almost two weeks in the lagoon in St. Maarten where the shallow water, lack of water movement and hundreds of boats make the water unswimmable, the bacterial count is just too high. But now we are moored at Ile Fourchue, about 20 miles SE of Sint Maarten and about 2 miles from St. Barts. After the lack of swimming off the boat in the lagoon, one of the first things we did after safely mooring the boat was to jump in and swim to shore.

 Ile Fourchue belongs to St. Barts and is one of their marine reserves. It is a small island denuded by goats whose population died off when the vegetation was gone. They say the vegetation is coming back, but it still looks pretty bare to me, although I did meet a woman who said she had been here 10 years ago and is amazed by how much more growth there is now. All a matter of perspective.
Ile Fourchue 

Ile Fourchue is listed in the guide books as a good lunch stop when traveling from St. Maarten to St. Barts. It is a very small bay with about half a dozen boats here. A few more were here when we arrived, but apparently they took the "lunch stop" designation seriously  and have moved on.
Rhapsody is the middle boat in the front row.


We left Sint Maarten in the morning and arrived at Ile Fourchue by lunchtime. Our "lunch stop" extended to three days. Or two days depending on how you count the time. We were there from Saturday noon to Monday noon- 48 hours - 2 days, but we were there Saturday and Sunday and Monday - that's 3 different days. If I was selling the trip to you I would advertise it as 
3 nights
2 days
on the lovely island of Ile Fourchue.

So, take your pick,  we were there 2 or 3 days.

Because there is not much growth on the island it is easy to find places to hike, but not so eady for us to get ashore. The shoreline is rocky and the waves were rolling in so we could not take the dinghy ashore. Not to be denied, we threw our hiking shoes and a towel into a dry bag for each of us, swam to shore, toweled off, changed into our shoes, stashed the towels and dry bags in some bushes so we would not have to carry them.
The last section we scrambled up. You can see the path going up the middle.
Unfortunately the camera really flattens the view.

We chose to climb to the highest point, elevation 338 feet, not very high but it was fairly straight up at the end. The last section was made more difficult both by the loose rocks we were scrambling up, and the fact that I did not have my "land legs" back yet. It is tricky to climb a rock face when it feels as if it is gently swaying.

Lots of different cacti
This one has many names. One name for it is Dildo Cactus. All I can say is- "Ow!"
 The views from the top were spectacular,  looking down on Rhapsody in the bay, looking back at Sint Maarten and looking forward to St. Barts. I always enjoy getting off the boat and going for a good hike.

 Wonderful views are a bonus.


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