Marie Galante

Blue Sky's Voyage
George & Michael
Thu 31 May 2007 22:40
Hello Friends                        "15:57.2N 61:19.4W"
Yes, we've made it to a whole new island for a change, after retracing old ground (or sea) recently. Since the last blog, we've done some shopping in Point a Pitre - new genoa sheets and more fishing kit - and sailed back to the Saintes to use the broadband WiFi available in the anchorage. Now we've tacked up East to the second largest island in the Guadeloupe group.
Marie Galante lies to the SE of the main Guadeloupe island and is mainly noted for sugar cane and the resultant Rum distilling... The island is roughly circular - just over 8 (nautical)miles across and mainly low-lying, just a couple of hundred metres at the highest. We are anchored off Saint Louis on the NW side, well sheltered from the SE wind and light swell.
We arrived two days ago, having enjoyed yet another good sail from Les Saintes, but it has taken us until today to gather the energy to rent a car for a look around the island. It is a pretty sleepy place though perfectly pleasant, so we won't bore you with pictures of sugar cane growing. There are some rather good beaches, generally protected by reef so therefore safe bathing (see pic). Here is a picture of George, tirelessly working away to research material for the blog - we are able to report that lunch in the beachfront cafes is very tasty and good value (though the wind is rather a trial for one's hair!).
As we have a few days to dawdle away here, we rigged the new awning, which process we're getting the knack of fairly well. It does keep things cool during the day and is worth the ten minutes it takes to rig. The sharp-eyed blog readers will notice the St Piran's Cross - the flag of Cornwall - flying from the port spreaders. In fact we saw a yacht from Fowey flying the St Piran's Cross in Deshaies when we were sailing north to drop Marco in Antigua, so as ever, it's a small world.
There is a second section of awning to cover the foredeck and the hammock can be rigged underneath. Expect a full report of how comfortable this is in a future blog.
And just in case you think we're having it too easy, we've noticed a link in our primary anchor chain that we're not entirely happy with. As it's just beyond the 40 metre mark, we strongly suspect that it's a dodgy chain extension by the utterly useless Sea Ventures Limited of Lymington (there, I've said it !). You can't really expect a new chain to wear out in only two years so we think it cannot have been up to scratch from the start.
But moving on.... still on anchoring, we now have 4 anchors for the yacht. The main CQR, a secondary Fortress and the original Brittany as the tertiary anchor. But we decided that wasn't enough so we bought a small Fortress for use as an easy-to-set stern anchor to keep the bows into the swell in those anchorages where wind & swell don't coincide. (Often you get a northerly swell and an easterly wind, so if you're not sheltered from the north, you get roll.)
I guess that's enough technical stuff for this week. We have a few jobs to catch up with and a good spring clean before Ian and Alan join.
Best Wishes
George & Michael