Marie-Galante Carnival

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Radeen says today was her favorite of this season! With the weather calm for several days, we sailed 3 legs from Martinique to Dominica to Marie-Galante, on the southeast side of Guadeloupe. It can be very difficult to reach here in usual east winds of 20-25 knots. With a large weather front up north causing high winds in Florida and the Bahamas, our trade winds have been pulled to the south and suppressed. Luckily for us, we rented the last car available in St. Louis and went to a restored sugar plantation and then to the island’s annual Carnival celebration! 

My favorite Carnival photos

Woy Mi Mas Carnival parade on Marie-Galante Jan 25, 2020
Woy Mi Mas is the Carnival celebration on Marie-Galante, January 25, 2020

Enjoy our 27 best of 300 photos taken!

Habitation Murat and Woy Mi Mas

Marie-Galante was discovered on Columbus’ second voyage and he named it after one of his ships. The country side is small rolling hills of beautiful farmland raising sugar cane, bananas and cattle. As with larger French islands, roads are excellent and easy to navigate. Though there are vacant buildings in disrepair, we saw no poverty. The 12,000 residents obviously work hard. They can travel to the mainland of Guadeloupe via frequent daily ferries. We met several Guadeloupe residents who had traveled here for the weekend to watch the MG jet ski races.

Habitation Murat is a restored sugar plantation south east of Grand Bourg, a 20 minute drive from St. Louis. Though 90% of the information on the signs was in French, we learned a great deal about how sugar cane was produced using power from windmills. At one time there were more than 100. Now, there are 50 modern windmills on the east side,  producing electricity for the island.

Carnival is celebrated year round in the Caribbean. We were very fortunate to attend the annual Woy Mi Mas celebration in Grand Bourg. We stumbled on a traditional Ka drumming demonstration in the morning and enjoyed the market, where Radeen bought two new hats. Local street food vendors were making fish fritters and hand-cranked ice cream and selling home made baked goods. At 3:45, the parade scheduled for 2:00, finally began at the ferry terminal. 25 bands from Marie-Galante and Guadeloupe participated in the long parade. The band featured in our YouTube and Instagram video was celebrating their 40th anniversary. We estimate 95% of the crowd to be locals. It was all very festive and we felt welcome. It was exciting to be part of their enthusiasm!

Where is Marie-Galante?

Live Garmin Tracking Map…when we move, this updates


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7 Replies to “Marie-Galante Carnival”

  1. And one of my favorite reports of this season (although I did enjoy the puzzle of working out the electrical problems)! Great Photos…
    Would you know what the Carnival celebrates?
    Would you know if the windmills supply all their power (it would seem 50 should be more than enough for 12,000 people).

  2. Wow.That is True Caribbean living.we are so happy for Island Spirit.We Met IP 38 TOUCHÉ here in Stuart.Realized that we two crews are 80 degree sailors?? They in latitudes; we in Fahrenheit.!!!!

  3. Radeen and Hayden,

    Terre De Haut is close enough to Terre Haute, IN right? Gerry’s from that area.

    Looks like you two are having a wonderful time from all your emails/posts.

    Staying in MD this winter.

    Fair Winds and Safe Sailing,

    Gerry & Larry

  4. Interesting, brilliant photos Best shirt ever, Raydeen! Like the energizer bunnies you guys go on, and on. Have Fun! No longer Sea Star

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