Pain de Sucre, Les Saintes
Phil May and Andrea Twigg
Sat 30 May 2015 02:18
The authorities in Les Saintes decided to lay hundreds of mooring balls throughout the main anchorage, and basically outlaw any anchoring there. Fortunately there are several very nice anchorages just a couple of miles from town, so that is where all the cruising boats hang out. What this means is that the main anchorage only has a dozen or so yachts on the mooring balls. The town presumably gets most of its revenue from the tripper boats that come over from the mainland during the day, but the restaurants must suffer in the evenings because nobody wants to trek a couple of miles by dinghy in the dark to visit a restaurant.
Our favourite anchorage is behind Pain de Sucre. The hotel there has a good wifi signal, so go in to buy a beer and get the password. The water quality here is good enough to make water at anchor, and to swim/snorkel off the boat. The hotel lets you use their dock to access the beach.
We continued to be plagued by engine problems. Before we left Guadeloupe I drained a few litres of fuel from the port engine lines and managed to get it working again. The starboard engine then stalled as we were leaving. We sailed the few miles to Les Saintes not knowing if we would have any working engines to anchor with. Fortunately the port engine started on our approach, so we could anchor under power.
I spent a day changing the primary and secondary fuel filters on both engines and bleeding off 20 litres of fuel. The fuel still did not look good. There was a lot of water in suspension, but we could not store more than 20 litres of bad fuel without sacrificing our one remaining can of good fuel, which I thought we may need later.
After all this the port engine was running OK-ish but the starboard would only start if I disconnected the “m-prop valve”. (This is a trick you can use on a common-rail fuel injection system that forces the maximum fuel pressure to the injectors. If your engine is firing but not quite starting then the injectors are probably a bit clogged and disconnecting the m-prop will probably make it start, but you risk breaking the pressure relief valve on the fuel rail.)
Even after draining 20 litres, the diesel is not the clear golden liquid it should be
This little balloon fish had brilliant green eyes