Guadeloupe - Staying Connected with the Floating Bus Service
Floating bus chases through the waves in low-altitude flight. "In Marie Galante every boy dreams of being a captain one day," says Ary Calme. His grandfather and his father still used to cruise to the mother island Guadeloupe by sailing boat, and his brother is in command of a tanker in the Mediterranean. "And me – well, I actually drive a bus," he adds modestly. Mind you, a bus with a cockpit like in a jet.
Ary Calme is captain of the express ferry "Rubis Express" that operates between Guadeloupe and the small, unspoiled sister island of Marie Galante. At a travelling speed of almost 40 miles per hour, the 10,000 HP catamaran weighing 700 tonnes needs 40 minutes.
"I need to take every wave correctly at that speed." That’s how the sailor explains why he steers the ferry by hand during the entire time instead of switching on the auto-pilot. "Otherwise it’ll be a pretty rough ride." After all, most of the 445 passengers allowed per trip are holiday-makers who want to enjoy their excursion to Marie Galante.
"Up to now there’s never been a problem," says Calme. Amazing, considering he’s been chasing across the waves for 20 year now.