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Date: 26 Apr 2008 15:03:09
Title: Les Saintes

Hello Friends                                    "15:52.2N 61:35.1W"
 
We're back in Les Saintes again and just off to the marina in Point a Pitre to clean up the boat before the Portsmouths arrive on Monday.
 
We greatly enjoyed watching the 'Classics' in Antigua and even though the racing is some distance away, we hope you can get an idea of how pleasant the whole thing was from this pic of G watching the Sunday racing from under the shade of a tree on the old ruined fort overlooking the entrance to Falmouth Harbour.
 
 
What the race results won't tell you is that the Sunday racing provided more than the usual amount of entertainment. The Sunday race is 'the cannonball' just straight out towards Guadeloupe for about 6 miles and then back, then out & back again. This makes it a nice easy broad reach for a Sunday race. The thing is, that most of the boats, well the first three quarters to start, assumed that the mark was in the same position as the previous day's race... which it was not! Sitting high on our fort with our 12x stabilised binoculars we could see the racing mark easily and were amused to notice that the boats were heading off about 30 degrees upwind of where they should be. The Committee boat (motor boat to left of G in photo) had clearly noticed their mistake and broadcast the coordinates of the mark at least six times, virtually laughing towards the end. But it's amazing what sheep the racers can be, determined to follow the guy in front. Only about 2 boats has the self confidence to sail in the direction they thought correct.  One boat even asked if the Committee could confirm that the mark had gone adrift - how we laughed !!
 
There has to be a moral in here somewhere about trusting your own judgement and not following the herd.
 
Our sail south to Guadeloupe was marked by plenty of fish, none landed. Our first disaster was something Big! We wind the trolling lines around the spinnaker winches and I was leaning against one when the line tightened and the winch creaked - then the dyneema line snapped - all in a couple of seconds, But to make the winch creak it must have been a big fish. Later on we caught a small shark - maybe 3 feet long - but it swam under the boat and managed to free itself before we could land it. So once again it's frozen fish fingers for us!!
 
Yesterday however, our disappointment was mitigated by seeing a family of whales playing in the channel between Guadeloupe and Les Saintes. They were several miles away but the big ones were at least 20 metres - they were leaping up in the air and crashing down with a huge splash, just like in the nature programs on TV !! We hope we see them again next week when the Portsmouths come to sail with us.
 
That's it for now, a report of the Portsmouth's holiday will follow in a couple of weeks.
 
Best Wishes
 
George & Michael
 
PS. the website is being reorganised so the index isn't quite right yet, but "Cook Along with George" is now up there somewhere - enjoy!
 

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