For four days in April 1782 an
English squadron of 33 line ships, under the command of
Admiral Sir George Rodney, chased *the French fleet*
led by the Comte de Grasse. The result of the battle
would determine more than the control of Les Saintes. At
stake was the very rich island of Jamaica. Rodney sailed
his fleet parallel to the French and when *the wind
quickened*, the Admiral gave the order: tack and attack
against the French order of the line.
As the whistle blew, the ship’s crew sprung into battle.
As the sails caught the wind the ship tacked on a new
course. The fleet followed the Admiral's lead, breaking
through the French line with absolute precision while
firing on the enemy from both port and starboard. The
French were totally surprised. For the French the defeat
was chaotic and memorable. At the end of the day the
British counted 280 dead. The defeated French 8000. Les
Saintes became history and Jamaica remained British. Two
years later, Nelson said: "With a command post in New
York one becomes rich. With a command post in the
Caribbean, one gains honor and glory."
Les Saintes, a total of nine islands, islets and reefs, with a total
area of 14,6 kmq emerging 12 km. south from Viex-Fort Cape, at
Only two are inhabited: Terre de Haut (5,2 kmq.), rugged
coastlined and hilly, and Terre de Bas, round and flat;
the residents, respectively 1720 and 1269, are skilled fishermen.
The other islands are:
Iles Cabrit, La Coche, Les Augustins, Grand Ilet, La Redonde, The
Pate and Les Roches Percees.
The temperature remains stable throughout the year, the
do not exceed 5 degrees.
This stability can be attributed to the trade winds that carry a
pretty cool breeze from the northeast.
Months from December to May are dry, while the period between june
and november is more humid and rainy.
Thunderstorms may appear all year long very suddenly but pass away
in a while.
Average temperatures swing between 22°c. and 30°c.