A very shaky ferry crossing took us on Monday from Pointe-a-Pitre to the cute island group Les Saintes. The islands were named Los Santos by Christopher Columbus, who arrived there on All Saints' Day of 1493. The first French settlers arrived here in 1648. Because of their strategically important position, the Îles des Saintes were fought over by the French and the British in the Battle of the Saintes; they have remained under French control since 1816.
The archipel consists of 2 inhabited islands: Terre-de-Haut (High Land) and Terre-de-Bas (Low Land) and 7 non-inhabited islands. The local population is 2850 people at a total surface of 13 km². On Terre-de-Haut Island one can also visit the Fort de Napoleon, which was distroyed by the British in and then rebuilt during the Napoleonic Era, but never saw use in battle, and was instead used as a prison.
On the way to the UCPA (the French sport association we are staying with) we met some of the most famous local: the iguana. The young ones have green colours, while the adult ones are grey-white ones. Another island inhabitant is the brown pelican, they like to relax on the boats of the fishermen in the harbour.
Next blog entry will be with some underwater images, yesterday was the first dive and it was very relaxing and beautiful under the sea surface.