Sunday, December 22, 2013

Rolling in Guadeloupe

Since leaving Antigua about two weeks ago we've anchored in windy rolly anchorages in Deshaies, Pigeon Point and now Iles des Saintes. It's been crazy windy here lately - in Deshaies we had over 40 knots of wind in the anchorage - so even traveling on the least windy days still means lots of wind. We had the same 40 plus knots on our way from Deshaies to Pigeon Point.

Wind swept clouds at sunset in Deshaies
The good news is that our now-functioning centerboard works incredibly amazingly well and I only wishing we'd had it working as we sailed upwind the past three years. We had one teensy little centerboard snafu but it happened after we were anchored. I'll do a centerboard-centric blog soon complete with photos so stand by for that. (Besides we're still shaking our heads over the whole how-could-we-possibly-screw-up-the-centerboard-while-we're-anchored thing.)

Rooster takes control of the road in Deshaies
I've admitted several times to being moving target challenged when it comes to photography so I took a LOT of photos of our sail over from Guadeloupe to Iles des Saintes hoping for one good one. Skip describes this attempt as the braillle method of photography - me tethered to the boat, camera strapped to my wrist, arm stretched out over the side. It's all about editing after that.
Sailing for Iles des Saintes - Saralane sails straight as an arrow with the centerboard down
Cruise ship Europa dwarfs the boats in the anchorage behind Pain de Sucre 
We'd been looking forward to catching up with our friends Nancy and Tim on s/v Larus after many months and it was great to see them. Nancy was off to work shortly after we arrived so we didn't see enough of her but Tim was on his own and we thoroughly enjoyed his company. 

The three of us planned to go to the open air produce market on Saturday and thought we'd quickly get some gas for our dinghies before going to the market. The only place to get fuel is around a windy point which is hardly even convenient for fishing boats, much less anyone else. We thought we might sweet talk one of the motor bike rental guys into selling us some gas so we didn't have to hoof it to the fuel dock, but no such luck so we headed off for the footpath to the dock. And what a footpath it was. (Note to self - arrive in Iles des Saintes with enough gas for the dinghy.)

... and downhill, and then more uphill and downhill.
We were half joking on the way that the fuel dock would probably be closed once we got there. It wasn't. What we didn't expect was that the wind had knocked over the gas pump so there was no gas to be had. I mentioned it had been windy didn't I?

Captains Tim and Skip contemplate the dead gas pump.
At least they tied down the diesel pump so it doesn't fall over in the wind.
Fortified with water and soda, and with sense of humor more or less intact, we made our way back, uphill and downhill, from the fuel dock. I think the guys were half relieved they didn't have to carry heavy jugs of fuel back up and down the hill. 

Tim coaxes a baby goat into the frame for a photo
Our wayward hike to the fuel dock and back put us behind in time to get to the market and we arrived as the vendors were nursing their first (or second?) beer, so no luck there either. With only a few minutes left before the regular markets closed we picked up a few meager things and are now dreaming of the fresh produce just a day or so away in Dominica.

Early morning fishermen collecting their traps near us behind Pain de Sucre. Guadeloupe off in the distance.
Rainbow over Pain de Sucre
There's a quiet little resort on the beach here and we dashed over around between rain squalls and walked around.
Keep out of the pool if you're not a guest!

We haven't seen these caterpillars for a while
Fishing off the dock... my favorite photo in the post.
Tim and Nancy were off to Bequia this morning and swung by Saralane for a "see you soon" on their way out.  

Tim and Nancy on lovely s/v Larus 
If the weather looks good tomorrow, we'll clear out in the morning and head for Dominica. Goodbye wonderful wifi.... hello wonderful Dominica!


Cindy Barnard said...

Yikes. 40 mph winds. Yikes. And still no gas for the dinghy? Bummer. Life in the fast lane is all I can say.

Leslie said...

I would like to have seen a shot of you capturing the action shot over the side of the boat.


Miles said...

Did someone say 'centerboard blog'? I can't wait. Seriously.

Miles said...

Someone DID say a centerboard blog was coming. Didn't they?

Madeline said...

NO action shot of me hanging over the side.... sorry.

Centerboard blog is coming - someday. We're in wifi challenged Martinique, so any wifi time is spent catching up on email! Patience grasshopper...

Bob & Janice said...

your photos are fabulous as ever, but that you out did yourself with that action shot -you are much braver than I to get that one! Sorry to hear about the fuel dilemma - the fun of cruising in the Caribbean! Hope the wind cuts down for getting to Dominicia as well as for the anchorage there. Best wishes always

s/v Skylark said...

Hey Skip and Maddie! Love catching up via your blog. How did you get that one photo of the side of Saralane underway. I loved it. Can't remember exactly where it was but came across it recently. Miss you both. E, E & L on s/v Skylark

Linda said...

Hey girl. Let's do the FaceTime thing again....when you are not wifi challenged. That was fun.

xo Thelma