Sunday, April 13, 2014

(Still) On the Move

We sailed into Portsmouth still a little glum from losing our entire reel of fishing line when we snagged Seabird on our way in. Still, we were a little cheered by the fact that we'd finally caught something.
After we settled in we realized we were smack dab in front of the noisiest bar on the beach - and it was Friday night - so we pulled up the anchor and moved to a more peaceful spot. Out of the noise, but not out of the roll. Another north swell tracked down into the island chain and we rolled along with everyone else in the anchorage.
Clearing in on the weekend means overtime...

Even the customs office has pineapples growing out in the front garden.
We didn't plan to spend much time in Dominica on this pass, but still wanted to get up into the rain forest (and of course visit the hot pool!) so we headed for Segment 11 of the Waitukubuli Trail in the company of an Australian guy we'd met who was traveling with friends of friends (there's a lot of that out here). Jason was great company and I'm sure we slowed him down a bit on the uphill sections of the trail.

This section of the trail takes us past Johnson's farm and we shouted out for him but didn't connect this time. We did however check in on his pigs.... or rather, his pig. He's down to one and we're wondering if the other one is on the menu somewhere in town.
Skinny pig... perhaps trying to avoid becoming a meal for someone?
We came across two guys working on keeping the trail clear... even in the dry season it gets overgrown... and stopped for a chat.
Jason chats up a trail maintenance guy
This guy was filling us in on which birds to find where, when he tilted his head back, half closed his eyes, rolled up his tongue and did the most spot on imitation of one of the birds we'd been hearing all during our hike.
Expert bird call imitator and excellent trail tender
The trail ended by the Picard River where we had a well deserved cool down in the fresh water.

We always hate to leave Dominica but we're still aiming for St Maarten on a schedule (nasty things, schedules) so off we sailed to the Saints in Guadeloupe. The forecast was for big winds and big seas but was it surprisingly (and happily) less aggressive than anticipated and we had a fast sail up.

We always make time for a snorkel behind Pain de Sucre... there are loads of fish and always a few lobsters hiding here.

Election season in Guadeloupe... wonder if Hilaire's stylized poster helped him win?
It was here in the Saints that I first realized I'd better get the blog up to date. We gone to a little café for wifi and as we were leaving we heard "Saralane?!" Our friends Theo and Irene from s/v Sotirius were walking down the street and spotted us. "We thought you were still in Bequia!" they said. Um.... better get the blog up to date. We're traveling different directions but it was good to catch up with them for a few minutes.

Still on the move we only spent two nights in the Saints before continuing north to Pigeon Island where we picked up a mooring ball for a snorkel in the underwater park here. I'm skeptical about underwater parks since our stop in Dragon Bay in Grenada, but it was pretty nice here. Full of fish, like most protected places, which is always nice to see.

View from below
Saralane, with centerboard down, swinging on her mooring

Little squid trying to act big.
The anchorage here is always prone to wind shifts around the land so we sailed on to Deshaies to spend the night instead. This shortened our sail to Antigua the next day too.
The unexpectedly pleasant sail we had from Dominica to the Saints was balanced out by the unexpectedly crappy sail we had from Guadeloupe to Antigua. Forecast was for winds 17 to 22 knots from the east and seas 4 to 6 feet. Perfect. The actual conditions were winds from 25 to 30 and seas 8 to 10 feet with a swell countering the waves from a southerly angle. It was a giant washing machine out there. On the upside, we made it to Antigua in a hurry.

So here we sit, in Jolly Harbor, getting ready to sail to Barbuda. Pretty happy about that. Next post - all about Barbuda. Pretty happy about that too.


Cindy Barnard said...

It sounds to me, Mrs. Pond, that you have become a seasoned sailor. Which, actually, was the only thing to do. Sail on. Start looking forward to Tom's. :)

Lili said...

Oh, I'm pretty happy about it too! Please say hi to Barbuda for me!

Madeline said...

Lili, Barbuda was as perfect as ever... and it wants to know when you're coming back for a visit!

Cin, I don't know about being seasoned but I'm certainly becoming salty - literally. And Mrs. Pond?! Isn't that your mom??

s/v Skylark said...

Love all your photos, sorry to hear about your fishing line catching itself a boat boy. Andrew was our guide when we were there a couple of years ago. Hope to see you guys this summer if our schedules intersect. Ed, Elizabeth & Luna

danbarnardjr said...

It goes without saying, Maddie, that your photos are outstanding and really give the blog an immediacy that makes us lurkers back home feel like we are salamanders on the wall riding along with you and Skip. It's not only the pictures, however, but also your clever and poetic prose that gives us a look beyond the beauty of the places and into the lives of so many ordinary people doing seemingly ordinary things in extraordinary places. What a journey you guys are on! I can't thank you enough for sharing but I will try this week when we see you.