Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Fri 1 May 2009 15:16
Memories of Guadeloupe
It all started with the need to get to Guadeloupe ASAP to sort out my illegal status i.e. NO PASSPORT
Bear as punishment spent his nights with his nadgers shut in the vice. The next photo I have cut the bottom off - literally - as not to upset people with mild constitutions, nevertheless, I can describe the lower left cheek as covered in welts, the lower right a few reddened palm prints. Apparently it happened when I was being too cautious, instead of having the folder under my arm and climbing into Beez as I always do. I leaned into the cockpit to put the folder in before I climbed in, that's when it went plop.
Visit from Mr. David Woods, Honorary British Consul. I needless to say had many days with a face like a slapped ar - e. We queued for two hours on the 1st of April, knew the request forms had arrived in Paris on the 6th, new passport made on the 8th, posted from Paris and arrived in Pointe-a-Pitre post office on the 22nd. Quite a few weeks. Happy now though. Proud possessor of my new Paris born, ten year legality. HOWEVER it has been taken from me, put with the ships papers, HIS passport and the necessary bits he has to take to immigration IN a zipped, waterproof bag complete WITH a flotation device, in case it falls into the drink. BUT THAT WON'T HAPPEN WILL IT. No
To draw a line in the sand over the whole palaver AND to show peace could now reign, I bought the skipper a lobster. I carefully prepared, filleted and served on a bed of mushroom pasta, a side dish of christophine only to be woken up early the next morning by HIS snoring AND to find him tucked up with Beds. Put that with the unpleasant aroma AND the need for me to sleep in the shallow end, I'm not to certain about peace.
We have seen loads of colour
Geckos, lizards, giant iguana, frigate birds, pelicans and all kinds of fish.
Traditional dress, a skipper with his pecker up and an elderly lady carrying her shopping 'the old way'.
Crabs in zoos, on the beach, in the mangrove and at the crab fest. Visited the aquarium and had a close encounter with a conger eel.
We have been to too many beautiful beaches and bays to possibly have a favourite and had a spuddle past the mangrove swamp.
As we were walking to the bus stop one day, I saw this Ovni called Nuage out for a bottom scrub. It certainly needed it, complete with crab sitting up an outflow, several oysters, plus wide and varied reef growth. When we came back later that afternoon all had been scraped off, ready for anti-fouling and the crab had been put into the marina to find a new residence.
We have tried all the different vegetables and fruits on offer here. Met Gregory and Anna Haremza, had a smashing time on their beautiful Amel 54 and a return visit to our 'little cottage'. Sadly we had to wave them on La Boheme from Australia, 'Cheerio' as they make their way to the BVI's to meet up with the other seventeen boats that are completing the World ARC. We wish them "Safe seas and following winds" on their onward journey to Europe. You can see the clouds as La Boheme makes her way, these collect and appear every day, thus it rains at some point every day. Thankfully, mostly at night but we have been in some really big downpours, quite funny when you consider it's hot, we are swimming and it's tipping down on us. The sea temperature is a steady 24 degrees centigrade. The dry season also called "Careme" meaning "Lent" is from December to April. Trade winds can reach 25 to 30 knots, in squalls, air temperature averages 27 degrees centigrade. Our average at night has been 28 and daily about 32. When the sun has been out it has really burnt, sadly about an hour a day. The rainy season is from July to October called "Hivernage" meaning "wintering" Average air temperature is 30 degree centigrade and the sea an average 29. Tropical storms and hurricanes are most frequent in September and October.
Beez has had many neighbours over the four weeks as most people are only in for two or three nights, we had to be in a marina for me to have an address as couriers will not deliver to a box. We stayed on for six days after collecting my new passport as a month is £10 per night opposed to a daily rate of £30. Our busy pontoon, but very quiet at night.
After a couple of hours on the beach in rain and shine we ate our picnic lunch and went back to Beez for a game of Upword. (3D Scrabble - you can put words up to five tiles high). Suddenly I knew the day was 'a changin' when Bear scratched his head and said This isn't going very well for me I have three U's, three I's and a Y- my letters were no better. Yes but you won again.
Just as I was beginning to lead myself into a false sense of security (Monday the 27th) - off we go for a shower. RIP and PLOP. Bear has caught his shorts on the genoa fixing as he was cocking his leg over to step off the anchor. "What went plop" asks I with an unsteady feeling Oh it was the gate and shower key card. I think I've killed my shorts. "Shorts, it's your neck you should be concerned for, keep it away from me" But it was an accident, "Yes Dear"
Have you seen anyone wearing yellow crocs walk at an Olympic qualifying time, Pepe has.
Swiftly Bear Swiftly.
Have you ever beaten anyone over the head with an Imperial Leather Shower Gel with a free 100% extra sticker - Pepe has.
Rub Bear Rub.
Tuesday morning the 28th, Bear in a very sheepish voice asks Can I borrow your pass key to go and ablute, please. No Comment, just growly thoughts.
Bear leaves Beez at speed avoiding a well aimed shoe. Duck Bear Duck
Wednesday the 29th of April, we leave the marina today, to anchor near the bridge which opens at 05:00 meaning we will pass up the River Salt as day breaks en route to Jolly Harbour, Antigua. We will clear in and spend a day sussing out facilities for Jump Jet who is over on the 23rd May. Then off to Barbuda where we hope to find a huge Frigate bird colony and explore Codrington Estate.
We did a few pre-leave checks, key in engine and turn, NADDER. Engine battery was the last thing to be replaced before we left, guaranteed for three years. Bear went to speak to the chap at Raymarine who said to take it up at 08:00 tomorrow morning for a test - dead. New one bought, slightly bigger than the duff one (which the Raymarine chap wrote a report on to make a claim), day of removing housing and sawing bits of wood to fit the new one. It was way too hot for Bear to do the job in one day, so I suggested halving the chore and going for a cooling swim.
Bear had to get into some awkward positions - I asked why he had his eyes shut - So I can feel what I'm doing better Ooooooooooooo-Kaaaaaaaaaaaaay (is that a man thing or a Bear thing).
The trouble with most of the captains' chores is it usually means loads of "stuff" has to come out of hidey-holes and lay around until the job is finished. What's a day of chaos with the month I have had huh.
Shoving everything back in its place. New battery - the black one in the middle - in its newly altered housing. During one of the 'cool dip breaks' we watched a load of red ants about their business "I don't want to be the one that has to run backwards, I don't suppose it's so bad on the floor but not running up tall grasses - the equivalent of the Empire State Building - when you are only small. This little bird sat each morning, sat on our genoa sheet and sung his beak off - from 05:45 every day. Feeling our stay MUST be coming to an end soon, I thought I best get a picture. I went to get the camera and asked Bear to open the fly-screen above our heads SLAM - sorry I tried to do it so carefully - yes Bear. Amazingly the little chap carried on singing.
1st May, please may this be leaving day - I thought I would video him, I very silently opened said fly-screen and off he flew, where is the fairness in that? but being a good and brave little trooper, he came back, what I didn't say before was he not only started his singing at 05:45, he didn't stop until just after 7:00 !!!!!!!!
We are not certain if this is a group hug or a regional meeting held on a monbin prune fallen from a tree on the beach but it accurately sums up our events on Guadeloupe.
Our love and best wishes are for Kate who successfully had her tumour removed along with a kidney and adrenal gland on the 23rd and discharged on the 29th. Blood pressure still being a bit of a pest - Good Luck with that.
ALL IN ALL a busy month that had a wrong-footed start - but - we certainly made the most of it, now let's make a bid for escape................